Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 09:38:18 -0400
From: Gregory {Greg} Downing
Subject: Impactful

Before I throw away this week's TV Guide, I wanted to note a word on p. 35.
In a discussion of Agnes Nixon, the famous soap-opera scriptwriter, Susan
Lucci the famous soap-opera actress is quoted as saying: "Agnes was
dramatizing socially impactful stories before anyone else had the coureage
or imagination to do it." I checked several recent dictionaries and a couple
of recent books on neologisms I happened to have around, and I didn't see
"impactful." I know that *I* haven't seen it before; I'd have remembered it....

I imagine "impactful" grows naturally out of the ongoing tendency to expand
the conveniently intense but vague word "impact," first from a noun to a
verb, and then to an adjective. But is this a hapax/nonce-word, or do others
out there have citations for it, or recollections of having heard it? (And
could "impactfully" and "unimpactful" be far behind?)

(See, I'm still thinking about the boundaries between nonce-usage,
neologism, empirically attested but stigmatized usage, and performance

Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]