pung-, punc-, punct-

(Latin: pungere, punctum to strike, to hit, to punch, to pierce, to puncture, to point, to sting, to bite; a dot, a mark; a point, a sharp point, a pinpoint)

These vocabulary roots have developed a confusing family of words which, on the surface, do not seem to be related; however, the entries in this unit really are derived from the roots and the meanings that appear in the headings of this unit.

impact (verb), impacts; impacted; impacting
1. To force, to wedge, or to squeeze together with a forcible action with another object: The large boulder rolling down the hill impacted with three houses before it stopped moving.
2. To cause something to change or to have a strong influence on: High interest rates are impacting the housing market in a negative way.
impact incarceration (s) (noun). high-impact incarcerations (pl)
Jail or prison time structured with discipline and drills similar to a military boot camp.
impaction (s) (noun), impactions (pl)
A situation in which one object is hit by another one.
impinge (verb), impinges; impinged; impinging
1. To strike, to hit, or to collide: The crash of thunder impinged on Gertrude's ears.

Manfred tried to sleep, but the loud sounds of the traffic outside the hotel impinged on his ears and kept him awake for quite awhile.

2. To trespass, to interfere with, to intrude, to impose, or to encroach: The weeds in Jim's yard have impinged significantly because he and his family have been away traveling for over two months.

Claudia felt that sometimes her mother was impinging on her right to raise her children in her own way.

3. Etymology: "to fasten or to fix forcibly"; from Latin impingere "to drive into, to strike against"; from an assimilated form of in-, "into, in, on, upon" + pangere, "to fix, to fasten".
Close contact or infringing.
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impingement (s) (noun), impingements (pl)
impinger (s) (noun), impingers (pl)
impugn (verb), impugns; impugned; impugning
1. To suggest that someone or something cannot be trusted, relied on, or respected: Mrs. Thompson impugned Jeffrey's character when she said that could not be trusted to take the money to the bank because he was known to have stolen cash from his peers before.
2. To attack as false, questionable, or wrong: Jack's mother impugned his comments that he was being mistreated because he was not being allowed to have a cell phone any more; when actually, he had been using it too often and not doing any of the normal things which he should have been accomplishing.
To attack with words and to oppose someone as being false.
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interpunction (s) (noun), interpunctions (pl)
lumbar puncture (s) (noun), lumbar punctures (pl)
A spinal tap which is a procedure in which spinal fluid is removed from the spinal canal for the purpose of diagnostic testing.

Lumbar puncture is especially helpful in the diagnosis of inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system; especially, infections, such as meningitis. Lumbar puncture can also provide clues to the diagnosis of stroke, spinal cord tumor, and cancer in the central nervous system.

A lumbar puncture is so-called because the needle goes into the lumbar portion of the back. Other names for a lumbar puncture (an LP) include spinal puncture, thecal puncture, and rachiocentesis.

A lumbar puncture can also be done for therapeutic purposes; namely, as a way of administering antibiotics, cancer drugs, or anesthetic agents into the spinal canal.

Spinal fluid is sometimes removed by lumbar puncture for the purpose of decreasing spinal fluid pressure in patients with uncommon conditions; such as, normal-pressure hydrocephalus and benign intracranial hypertension.

After a local anesthesia is injected into the small of the back (the lumbar area), a needle is inserted in between the nearby bony building blocks (vertebrae) into the spinal canal to make the lumbar puncture. The needle is usually placed between the 3rd and 4th lumbar vertebrae. Spinal fluid pressure can then be measured and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) removed for testing.

The cerebrospinal fluid circulates around the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system). This "water bath" acts as a support of buoyancy for the brain and spinal cord. The support of the cerebrospinal fluid helps to protect the brain from injury.

Spinal fluid obtained from the lumbar puncture can be used to diagnose many important diseases: such as, bleeding around the brain; increased pressure from hydrocephalus; inflammation of the brain, spinal cord, or the adjacent tissues (encephalitis, meningitis); tumors of brain or spinal cord, etc. Sometimes spinal fluid can indicate diseases of the immune system; such as, multiple sclerosis.

When spinal fluid is removed during a lumbar puncture, the risks include headache, brain herniation, bleeding, and infection. Each of these complications are uncommon with the exception of headache, which can appear from hours to up to a day after lumbar puncture.

Headaches occur less frequently when the patient remains lying flat one to three hours after the procedure. The benefits of the lumbar puncture depend on the exact situation but a lumbar puncture can usually provide lifesaving information.

—Compiled from excerpts of information located in
Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary; F.A. Davis Company;
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 1997; pages 1131 to 1132.
poignancy (s) (noun) poignancies (pl)
poignant (adjective), more poignant, most poignant
1. Physically painful: Sharp poignant agonies seemed to shoot from Jim's neck downward.
2. Very distressing to the mind or feelings: Sally was at the point of poignant anxiety regarding her father’s state of health; however, when the doctor’s diagnosis turned out to be negative because he said her father didn’t have cancer after all, it was a great relief!
3. Profoundly moving; emotionally touching: Janet had a very poignant memory of her best girlfriend’s wedding because she was radiating with joy and so beautiful in her white dress. In fact, Janet was so affected by the simple, yet elegant service, that she had to reach for her hanky to dry her tears!
4. Piercing; incisive: Linda’s poignant criticism was aimed at her sister, telling her that she had no right to borrow her dress without asking first.
5. Neat, skillful, and to the point: There were some very poignant illustrations supplementing the fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, taking the young reader into the world of fantasy with characters; such as, “Thumbelina” or “The Wild Swans”.
6. Astute and pertinent; relevant: The supervisor made some very poignant suggestions to the student teacher on how he could catch the students’ complete attention and motivate them at the beginning of the lesson.
7. Agreeably intense or stimulating: Lynn was filled with very poignant delight when she was planning a trip to California with her two daughters to show them where she came from; especially, since she had not been there in more than 40 years!
8, Etymology: from Latin pungere, "stick into, pierce". The sense of poignant, "sharp, piercing" was adopted into French through Anglo-French as poindre. It went into Middle English as poynaunt, then during the 1700s, the French spelling was restored and poignant became the standard form of the word.

Very painful or deeply moving.
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Very distressing to one's feelings.
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point (s) (noun), points (pl)
point (verb), points; pointed; pointing
pointedly (adverb), more pointedly, most pointedly
pointer (s) (noun), pointers (pl)

Cross references of word families that are related directly, or indirectly, to: "sour, sharp": acerb-; aceto-; acid-; acies- (not "sour"); acuto- (not "sour"); oxy-.