You can hardly miss the colonel who has run Libya for the last 42 years. But how do you spell his name?
Due to there being no formal way of translating his name from the Arabic, Col Gaddafi (FT spelling) has many viariants. This has been written about here, and lots of other places, but I thought I would take the time to try to quantify it.
Using ABC news‘s list of all the variants they could find, I removed the extraneous bits, and cut all the variants of “Muammar”, leaving just the Gaddafi bit. I then deduped the list. This whittled their 112 names down to 41. I then ran each name through Google, making sure to get the exact name and not one they were suggesting.
Here are the results:
* Most frequently suggested by Google
So there you have it. Gadhafi is the clear winner, with 104m. And yet it’s not the most frequently suggested by Google. That’s Gaddafi. Why?
Here’s another way of looking at the data with a Many eyes bubble chart. And here’s a bar chart. Basically, there’s one hell of a long tail.