Christian Velásquez Pañganiban (tisoi) wrote in linguaphiles,
Christian Velásquez Pañganiban
tisoi
linguaphiles

Osama/Usama.

On social media sites (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, etc.), I keep on seeing the following picture along with something that attacks FOX News's journalistic credibilty.



And I find myself in the bizarre position of defending FOX News. It truly is an odd day.

Explanation: Arabic's vowel inventory is /a i u/. Though there is variation depending on the variety of Arabic; so one of the many realizations of /i u/ is [o e]. As a result, and because of the lack of people using a standard for romanizing Arabic (?), both Osama & Usama are acceptable. This also explains Mohammed/Muhammad and Muslim/Moslem.

And in other news...

http://www.fox40.com/news/headlines/ktxl-osama-v-obama-one-letter-mistake-strikes-multiple-networks-and-tv-stations-20110501,0,5601804.story
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