How Do You Really Spell Moammar Gadhafi's Name?


Thursday, February 24th 2011, 7:38 pm
By: News On 6


Rick Wells, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- For more than 40 years the world has been dealing with Libya's dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Not only the man, but also his name.

How do you spell it? Rick Wells spent some time Thursday looking for a K, G, or Q solution to a decades old question.

In Wednesday's Tulsa World cartoonist Bruce Plante lampooned Libya Moammar Gadhafi and the many spellings of his name there have been in the more than 40 years he's been in power.

"He's been in the news off and on forever," Plante said.

Over the years, Gadhafi's name has been spelled differently.

The Associated Press news organization publishes a guide with spellings of important names. Many organizations use it.

Currently, AP style calls for this spelling: Gadhafi

The News On 6 uses it too, but it's never a sure thing. An article in the Christian Science Monitor highlights the problem. Internet resource Wikipedia has something different.

Dr. John Swails, the Director of the Center for Israel and Middle East Studies, says we've got it wrong.

"Arabic has letters we don't have and consonants we don't have," Swails said.

In the spelling we are using, move the "H" up to follow the "G."

"I've always seen it Gh, or Kh," Swails said. "That h is put in there to indicate a guttural."