The Dictators of Spelling: A Googler's Guide to Finding 'Gaddafi ' in the News

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
Getty Images
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi

If you're looking for a news story containing the name of the Libyan leader you may be in for a challenge: The spelling of 'Gaddafi' across news outlets has been as erratic as his recent behavior.

Here is a quick spelling cheat sheet to help you keep track and to aid in your search.

Moammar Gadhafi: CNN, MSNBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, AP:

Muammar Gaddafi:CNBC, BBC, Financial Times, Time Magazine, Reuters:

Muammar Gadaffi: London Times (usually):

Moammar Khadafy: NY Post, NY Daily News:

Muammar Qaddafi: Christian Science Monitor, FOX News:

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi: New York Times*

*The great Grey Lady—orthographic-onomastic priss that she is—styles him in full, at least the first time his name appears in an article. But then, she also insists on using the full "Rudolph W. Giuliani" for the former mayor—so we shouldn't be too surprised.

The consistency of the spelling isn't 100 percent—even within the same publication across time and different writers.

However, news outlets make an attempt to remain consistent with their handling of spelling— and the spellings listed above do appear to predominate.

(That said: No wagering.)


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