Sunday, February 20, 2011

The West Wing is real life

I love how all I have to say is “WTF LIBYA?!?” and Sarah knows I’m talking about current events while simultaneously referring to the Pilot episode of the West Wing:

Before she tweeted back to me, I tried unsuccessfully to find the scene on youtube.

Leo: Margaret! Please call the editor of the New York Times crossword and tell them that Khaddafi is spelled with an “H” and two “D’s” and isn’t a seven letter word for anything.

Margaret: Is this for real, or is it just funny?

Leo: Apparently it’s neither.

Leo: [on the phone with the New York Times] 17 across. Yes, 17 across is wrong… You’re spelling his name wrong… What’s my name? My name doesn’t matter. I am just an ordinary citizen who relies on the Times crossword for stimulation. And I’m telling you that I met the man twice. And I recommended a pre-emptive Exocet missile strike against his air force, so I think I know how…
C.J.: Leo.
Leo: They hang up on me every time.
C.J: That’s almost hard to believe.

Not only is Leo wrong to say “exocet missile strike”,

but after reading dozens of news articles over the last few weeks,

I assumed his spelling of Gadhafi was wrong as well. Little did I know the can of worms I was opening in trying to figure out the CORRECT spelling, which does not appear to exist.

Here is an explanation:

The basic problem here is that (1) there is no generally accepted authority for romanizing Arabic names, and (2) the Mummer’s name contains several sounds that have no exact equivalent in English.

For the record, here’s the official Library of Congress rundown on how to spell ol’ whatsisname: (1) Muammar Qaddafi, (2) Mo’ammar Gadhafi, (3) Muammar Kaddafi, (4) Muammar Qadhafi, (5) Moammar El Kadhafi, (6) Muammar Gadafi, (7) Mu’ammar al-Qadafi, (8) Moamer El Kazzafi, (9) Moamar al-Gaddafi, (10) Mu’ammar Al Qathafi, (11) Muammar Al Qathafi, (12) Mo’ammar el-Gadhafi, (13) Moamar El Kadhafi, (14) Muammar al-Qadhafi, (15) Mu’ammar al-Qadhdhafi, (16) Mu’ammar Qadafi, (17) Moamar Gaddafi, (18) Mu’ammar Qadhdhafi, (19) Muammar Khaddafi, (20) Muammar al-Khaddafi, (21) Mu’amar al-Kadafi, (22) Muammar Ghaddafy, (23) Muammar Ghadafi, (24) Muammar Ghaddafi, (25) Muamar Kaddafi, (26) Muammar Quathafi, (27) Muammar Gheddafi, (28) Muamar Al-Kaddafi, (29) Moammar Khadafy, (30) Moammar Qudhafi, (31) Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi, (32) Mulazim Awwal Mu’ammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi.

I mean, hey, are we talking a major campaign of Libyan disinformation here or what? Well, I’m not going to fall for it. I say we just call him Duckbreath. It’s short, it’s easy to spell, and Lord knows it satisfies the soul.

In all seriousness, though, what is going on in Libya at the hands of this man is terrible. Leo was right; Gadhafi doesn’t deserve to be recognized as ANYTHING, by the NYT crossword, or otherwise.

Okay, forgive my late night ramblings and West Wing nerd moment.

6 comments:

Megan said...

So I have officially decided you have written me off! I have no idea honestly why and wish you would let me know but if I can't get any sort of a response even if it was a big f you at least I would know you were done having any kind of relationship with me and lane! I hope to find out one day what I have done that made you so easily write me off but I honestly am really sad about it and I wish things were different! I hope you get everything and anything you dream and hope for I love you sister

Sarah said...

I <3 The West Wing.

P.S. When I read the post's label, "Nerd Alert," I instinctively read it in the Austin Powers voice.

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