This became top of mind because I was contemplating the fact that it's now December and the start of the Holiday season is upon us. Yes, that politically correct time of year formerly known by other names, the "Holidays" are coming, but that's an entirely different post which I'll get to later this month.
What started this stream of thought is the word "Hanukkah." And yes, I had to look up how to spell it correctly. But there are also other words: "Chanukah" and "Chanukkah" among them, which are equally acceptable versions of the word, depending on the translation. There are more, in fact, as you can see in the thumbnail picture above.
When Iraq was in the news, we heard a lot about and read a lot about Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. In the US, "Gaddafi" was the generally acceptable spelling for the Colonel and as such, most news outlets used that. However, there was another version bandied about: "Qaddafi", and it seems that these two versions were interchangeable.
Then we come to "al Qaida", which can also be "al Qaeda" or "Al Qaeda". Again, it seems that each version is acceptable (well, none of them are really, but you know what I mean).
Maybe this is because in the English language, words that don't start out in English really do get lost in translation and therefore different versions exist to please everyone? There are probably more of them out there, but I find it fascinating that the words colour, flavour, favourite and aluminium are unacceptable but that there are eight acceptable ways to spell Hannukah.