Gadafy, Gaddafi or Kadafi? A matter of style


THE SPELLING of the name of Libya’s president has led to controversy among Irish Timesreaders over the last 24 hours.

The Irish Timeshouse style on his name, used first in 1971 and then from 1981 consistently, with some lapses, is Col Muammar Gadafy. This version, one of many acceptable uses, is based on a direct transliteration from the Arabic.

Other publications and media outlets use alternatives: the BBC, Guardian and Financial Times, Reuters, Associated Press, the Jerusalem Postand most British papers – Gaddafi; the New York Timesand International Herald Tribune– el-Qaddafi; the Wall Street Journal,Lebanon’s Daily Star,Israel’s Haaretz– Gadhafi; and the LA Times– Kadafi.

According to a 2009 report from ABC News, there are 112 different English-language spellings of Gadafy’s full name on record. – Ed. IT