A correspondent wrote that he had come across the following in an aviation newsletter:
The tipping point seemed to be the geared turbofan, which may improve efficiency by as much as 15 percent, a major consideration for any airliner but especially poignant on the short- and medium-haul routes that its chief competitors, the Boeing 737 and Airbus A319 and A320, serve. [Emphasis added.]
He said he was about to send an e-mail to the editor telling him he had got the wrong word when he looked it up in Merriam-Webster Online and “was totally discombobulated by the M-W definitions”:
1: pungently pervasive <a poignant perfume>
2 a (1): painfully affecting the feelings : piercing (2): deeply affecting : touching b: designed to make an impression : cutting <poignant satire>
3 a: pleasurably stimulating b: being to the point : apt
He wrote: “So def. 3, ‘apt’, would be right in the sentence, by M-W’s standards. But I have never heard such as usage. Is it US-E?” I responded: “I too am puzzled; I have never (to my knowledge) seen or heard it so used, but if M-W includes it, it must be another example of the language passing me by.” So I turn to you, Varied Reader: are you familiar with the use of poignant to mean ‘to the point, apt’?