The Los Angeles Times’ readers’ representative, Deidre Edgar, explained in a recent blog post why the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Associated Press all spell the name of Libya’s leader differently.
“There’s more than one way to spell the Libyan leader’s name. All of the spellings are transliterations from Arabic, and so all are interpretations. The L.A. Times has used Kadafi since 1969, when the colonel seized power,” according to Edgar.
Kadafi’s entry in the LA Times’ stylebook, “printed in 1979,” details:
“Khadafi, Kadafy, Qadafi, Kadafi:
“These varying transliterations of the name of the Libyan leader sum up many of The Times’ problems with Arabic. They represent different, though similar, pronunciations.
“For The Times‘ purposes, let us make it Kadafi, and let us apply the same principle to other Arab names:
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“a k rather than a kh or a q
“an i rather than a y”
Similarly, the LA Times’ stylebook calls for Koran over Quran.
Hat Tip: Romenesko