Librarians are all too familiar with the profusion of guises in which the name of Libyan dictator — معمر القذافي in Arabic — may be encountered in the Latin alphabet. For the rest of the public out there it’s a mystery that still requires explanation:
As Col. Q has been much in the news of late, I wondered in an idle moment over the long weekend how articles listed on Google’s news site are spelling his name. (It was either that, or finishing the NY Times Sunday crossword puzzle.)
For those who may be interested, this is what turned up (I may have missed some other possible spellings, and the numbers for frequency of citation are subject to change by the moment). For the sake of simplicity, I’m concentrating on his surname — قذافي in Arabic — leaving out the permutations occasioned by the presence or absence of the Arabic article (al- ) and by the variant spellings of his given name.
LCNAF (81068638)’s preferred form of entry — Qaddafi — was the 8th most popular form in the news, used in 1,730 news articles.
Other variant forms listed in LCNAF, in decreasing order of popularity in news articles:
/form of name/ /# of news stories/
Among variant forms I encountered that are not currently listed in NCAF:
May it all end well, inshallah.
Fine Arts Library