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The meaning of Valerie Holt’s phrase “Iterations of analysis outside the system” (Loose Lips, 3/3) is easy to divine, or maybe dowse. Keep in mind that “iteration” is only the deadest of metaphors when it is used to mean a repetition or a revisiting, and simply remember that it means a journey or a trip (from the Latin “iter,” from which we also get “itinerary”). Then the meaning is opaquely transparent: She was referring to visits to her shrink for which her HMO would not pay, i.e., outside the system—a reasonable thing for a person to do when she is “internally driven” by voices only she can hear. This helps, I hope.

Woodley Park