Gaddafi? Kaddafi? Qaddafi? How do you spell the Libyan leader’s name?

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Laura Donovan
Contributor

So which one is it: Gadhafi? Gaddafi? Khaddafy? Kaddafi? Qaddafi?

The list of possible spellings for the Libyan colonel, who has been in power since 1969, continues, much to the frustration of news readers and writers.

Major news outlets nationwide, including the New York Times, Reuters, and CNN among others, can’t seem to agree on a universal way to write up the leader’s name, causing many people to initially assume a correction was needed when newspapers and television stations first began reporting on the country’s current unrest.

The mass confusion may be warranted, however. The Christian Science Monitor reported Tuesday that there is no across-the-board accepted authority for transliterating Arabic names, hence no one can seem to determine the correct spelling of the name. CSM added that the Libyan leader’s official website spells his name as, “AL Gathafi,” but the site includes several different spellings of the leader’s name.

The perplexity doesn’t start at Gaddafi and end with Qaddafi, either. The leader’s first name has been spelled as Muammar, Moammar, Mu’ammar, and Moamar.

ABC News reports there are 112 ways to spell the name and spells it as Moammar Gaddafi for their own articles. According to this piece, the Library of Congress has 72 alternate spellings for the Libyan strongman’s name.

CSM found that BBC, the Guardian, and Reuters write, “Muammar Gaddafi” to describe the Libyan leader. CNN, The Associated Press, and MSNBC spell it, “Moammar Gadhafi. The New York Times spells it “Muammar el-Qaddafi.” The leader’s Wikipedia page uses the spelling, “Muammar al-Gaddafi.” Google’s search engine seems to accept “Gaddafi” as the right manner of spelling the name, as most other variants will lead the site to prompt you with the question, “Did you mean gaddafi?”

CSM arbitrarily chose to go with Muammar Qaddafi, but The Daily Caller has yet to decide on which spelling of the name to use. Stay tuned.

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