Gaddafi? Kadafi? Qaddafi?

How do you spell the name of the erstwhile leader of Libya? The Colonel writes it in Arabic lettering, which is not directly translatable to Roman. For most Middle Eastern names, news agencies use whatever spelling the subject prefers, but in this case, he has never stated a preference.
Instead, Libya's Brother Leader lets a hundred flowers bloom. The banner at the top of his official website spells it, "AL Gathafi." But if you go deeper into the site, you'll see it variously rendered as "Al Qaddafi," "Algathafi," and "Al-Gathafi." Adding to the multitude of his spellings is the increasingly ironically named "Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights."

And that's just the surname. Variations on his given name include Muammar, Moammar, Mu'ammar, and Moamar, and many others. Once you've settled on how to spell his first and last names, you then have to decide whether you want to add the Arabic prefix "al-" before his last name. Which can also be spelled "el-." And then you have to decide whether the prefix should be capitalized.

The list of different ways that western news outlets spell the Libyan dictator's name is all over the map. Link -via the Presurfer

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Blame this on English. His name is spelled just one way in Arabic, which is a sensible language. It's spelled the way it sounds and it sounds the way it's spelled.
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