To the Editor.—
Despite Dr Mayhew1 and Webster's Third New International Dictionary, The Oxford English Dictionary dates the use of inadvertent to mean unintentional to 1742— and the American Heritage Dictionary says it still means that. If negligent is meant—with its connotation of culpability—then the word "negligent" should be used. The term "inadvertence," by itself, does not convey that meaning to me, or to most people.
Arnold HL. Inadvertent Is Unintentional. JAMA. 1985;254(24):3424. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360240036022
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