Pronunciation of bin Laden's org in the media

A. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Tue Mar 4 23:23:23 UTC 2003

If there is such an Arabic word I couldn't locate it easily, or at least
the possibilities that I found didn't sound all that insulting to me.

I should have realized that the al-QAEda pronunciation could have just as
easily come from an [incorrect] analogy between the "ai" of al-Qaida and
the "ai" sound in "maid" "raid" etc., and didn't require the existence of
the form Al-Qaeda.

maberry at

On Tue, 4 Mar 2003, Peter A. McGraw wrote:

> Bush, Sr., used to say ['saed at m].  I assumed it was just the usual American
> ignorance of foreign pronunciations until I heard, from a non-authoritative
> source, that it was used deliberately to be insulting.  Supposedly there
> was an insulting Arabic word with similar sounds.
> Peter Mc.
> --On Thursday, February 27, 2003 10:36 AM -0800 Anne Gilbert
> <avgilbert at PRODIGY.NET> wrote:
> > Dave:
> >
> >>
> >> I wonder whether there may be a pragmatic dimension to some
> >> of these cases: that is, some of these people may think (as I
> >> do) that "alkaida" is closer to the true Arabic pronunciation,
> >> but may be deliberately pronouncing it the other way in
> >> order to show a kind of passive contempt for them.
> >
> > There are similar mispronunciations(and I think they *are* deliberate) by
> > certain news personalities, of the name of the Iraqi leader (SODom Hussein
> > v. the "closer to Arabic "sadDAM")
> > Anne G
> ****************************************************************************
>                                Peter A. McGraw
>                    Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
>                             pmcgraw at

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