In the wake of Moammar Gaddafi’s (Kadafi, Qaddafi, Gadhafi) death the world still wants one question answered: How do you spell his darn name?
Apparently the various spellings of the former Libyan leader’s name has frustrated readers who have been following the Libyan saga since rebels started to fight back against Gaddafi’s dictatorship several months ago.
Well, the good people at thesaurus.com tried to break it down for us.
According to a blog post on its website, the culprit for all this confusion is something called transliteration—the transcript of a name, or word, into corresponding letters of another alphabet. Also, the Arabic Script is unvocalized, the website says, which means the vowels are not always written out, leaving it up to the reader to spell it out.
Here’s what thesaurus tells us:
A famous roadblock for any Arabic to English translator is the Arabic “q”.” Depending on the region, pronunciation varies so much that the first letter of “Gaddafi” can be replaced with a “q”, “k” or “gh” sound. This helps to explain the numerous interpretations for “Gaddafi.”
Interestingly, some media organizations decide to leave out the “el” in his name, while others leave the article in his name.
It all sounds confusing, we know.
But what isn’t confusing is the fact that the mercurial dictator was captured and killed this week after he was ousted by a gritty group of rebels looking for change.
A rebel wearing a Yankees hat reportedly found Gaddafi hiding in a drainage pipe. Gaddafi, who was known for his flamboyant outfits and lavish lifestyle, was pictured in videos looking dazed and stunned by his capture.
He’s not the only one who was dazed and confused. Gaddafi’s name has stumped spectators for months, if not years.