Wednesday, March 22, 2017


What is the meaning of words. Take "incidental". In medicine it oftentimes has an ominous meaning. Say we do a physical. The patient looks fine. The patient is a marathon runner, no heart problems, no other issues. Great lipids, low blood sugars, great blood pressure, EKG perfect. The on a CBC we see an incidental finding. The thrombocytes look a bit off, well, quite a bit off.

This incidental finding then leads to a bone marrow test. Ooops. Myelodysplastic Syndrome, MDS. This patient may be 6 months away from AML and another six months away from death! The patient hears incidental, the physician hears terminal.

Beware of the downplaying of incidental. Especially in espionage. You see, good intelligence, against them or us, just ask MI6 about their blunders, all those Communist Spies from Cambridge, that the incidental can expose a foreign entity as well as a domestic.

Beware of "incidental". It can be deadly!