Guardian correpondent Ed Pilkington's descriptive prose from Wichita, Kansas, puts the murder of George Tiller in its proper, doleful context. Here was a brave, compassionate man gunned-down for putting his expertise at the disposal of people in depserate need. Pilkington's writing demonstrates the value of expert correpondents who are familiar with their territory and can offer insight as well as evidence.   


A very sensitively written article, with a great deal of insight, like you say.

Incidentally, where he says at one point that it is one of only three clinics "in America" that perform abortions at such a late stage, he must mean the United States, right?

I only ask because, as 'America' is so commonly used colloquially to refer to the USA, I was wondering if you think it's ok when we're writing, too.

It is an interesting one. America is often treated as synonymous with the United States of America in British common parlance, but that does not mean it is synonyomous. To a Mexican, Peruvian or Gutemalan confusing the two is insulting as well as inaccurate. So, I prefer to call the USA the USA. It is a small price to pay for accuracy and an excellent habit to get into if you have any plans to visit any of the beautiful and intriguing lands south of the Panama Canal...Now don't get me started on Britain, England and United Kingdom, all of which mean different things and yet are used interchangeably. Grrrrr. 

Personally, I know I have the habit of referring to the USA as the US - which, as far as I know is not wrong. Furthermore, the short versions of the US Army, and others, have an influence in describing the United States of America as a whole under US. Correct or wrong? Some 'pedias give both.

They stopped him with a bullet