I write “Gaddafi,” you write “Khaddafy,” let’s call the whole regime off!
Libya’s leader has been on the world stage for more than 40 years, since he seized power in 1969 – yet major news organizations cannot agree on how to spell his name.
What gives? Why the disconnect? Apparently the difficulty of translating Arabic into English (as well as other languages) has stymied any uniform spelling.
Patrick Kovarik / AFP - Getty Images
Click on the photo above to see a slideshow of the life and times of Libya's mercurial and flamboyant leader Moammar Gadhafi.
However, the Business Insider thought that was a lame excuse, so they provided a good explanation of the subtleties of the Arabic translation in a column headlined: “EXPLAINED! Why No One Knows How The Hell To Spell Qaddafi/ Gadhafi/Gaddafi/ Qadhafi.”
Meantime here is a short list of some of the various spellings by major news organizations.
AP style (which msnbc.com follows): Moammar Gadhafi
Reuters/BBC/ Al Jazeera English: Muammar Gaddafi
New York Times: Muammar el-Qaddafi
Washington Post: Moammar Gaddafi
New York Post: Col. Moamar Khadafy
CBS News: Muammar Qaddafi
AFP: Moamer Kadhafi
And there are apparently dozens of other spellings. So many that when ABC News tackled the question two years ago they discovered 112 different spellings.
What do you think? Which spelling would you go with?