Gadhafi, Gaddafi, Qaddafi: Libya Leader's Many Name Variations

02/23/2011 10:17 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Each time Libya appears in the news, scores of newspaper editors go bananas. Once possessed of faculties that could detect a breaking story as readily as a dangling participle, these poor souls are now reduced to a jabbering stupor, as though they had gazed into the tentacled maw of Cthulhu himself.

Blame it on the name of the country's head of state, Colonel Gaddafi. Wait, no, that's Kaddafi. Or maybe it's Qadhafi. Tell you what, we'll just call him by his first name, which is, er ... hoo boy.

Part of the problem here is that there's no universally accepted authority for transliterating Arabic names. Normally, news outlets will just go with whatever spelling the subject prefers, but this particular subject hasn't settled on a single Roman orthography for his name.

Read more on csmonitor.com

Suggest a correction