I am watching a news report from a war zone. A soldier crouches over a rifle, there is a gentle 'phut', no more than the final breath escaping from a balloon. The journalist tells us this soldier has just killed a man.

It is an explanation which we need because the soldiers talk about a 'target down' and having 'dropped him'. It all reminds me of the the over-used, 'collateral damage'.

I wonder at how language can take us so far from the act. And at the seemingly innocent sound of a gun.