Friday, September 21, 2007

Usama, Osama, Tomayto, Tomahto

If you're really on the ball, you've noticed a few changes in "Another War-on-Terror Blog."

Up until this morning, I referred to the leader of Al Qaeda as "Usama Bin Laden." Yesterday, I read a comment which said out that "Osama" was the correct spelling.

Actually, it seems that أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن (Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden) is the correct spelling of his full name, and that أسامة بن لادن (Osama bin Laden) is a shortened form.

Since many readers might have trouble reading أسامة بن لادن, I decided to use a Latinized form of the name. When I started tracking Sheik bin Laden, I ran into "Usama" more often than "Osama," and so I standardized on that form of the name.

I see now that "Osama bin Laden" is used more often than "Usama bin Laden," by a ratio of 2,870,000 - 536,000. So, "Osama" it is. I spent part of this morning making the changes, and believe that I caught all instances.

This is a good example of how interesting it is, as an American, dealing with people and issues for which many names and terms are written in an alphabet other than those derived from the Latin writing system.

Thanks for the feedback!

1 comment:

Brigid said...

You should see all the different ways Japanese words are Romanized. At least this one was only one letter.

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.