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Usama To Osama - Revisited


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#1 Constantine

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 12:55 AM

Hello again,

I recently wrote a post which I had not first checked. This time, I have taken the trouble to check my information first.

I checked by trawling through the archives of the New York Times.

It is a fact that prior to 9/11 the media did usually refer to Bin Laden as "Usama Bin Laden"

It is also a fact that since 9/11 he is only ever refered to by the American media as "Osama"

The reason I believe is that it was intolerable that his name should have "Usa" in it.

I believe this post to be reasonable and considered. It is not meant as a slur on the American people, but it certainly reflects poorly on the American media.

I hope people will have the opportunity to read it and to comment.
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#2 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 05:16 PM

Well, over the past couple of years, i've actually seen both spellings. However, i have seen "Osama" more frequently than "Usama". I'd say it's about a 1:4 ratio of "U" to "O".

#3 Constantine

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 05:19 PM

I must say, I have never seen his name spelled Usama in the last few years.

Thank you for that.
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#4 Big Bruce

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Posted 27 November 2006 - 11:31 AM

He is an Arab. His name is spelled with a letter at the beginning that represents a sound we don't have in English, a sort of 'Aaa' from the back of the throat. It's the first letter of the word 'Oman' too. Since it can't be transliterated, either Usama or Osama will do. Both are wrong, but since you have to spell his name with a single s (as the double 's' sound has a separate Arabic character) using a 'u' makes it Usama which could read as 'oosama', which is really wrong. Osama is closer.

I think that's all it is.
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#5 Darthy

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:02 PM

I think Big Bruce is right. But if we saw this link Wikipedia, the name is written with an "U".
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#6 yano

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 12:13 AM

Does it really matter?

Usama Osama

too confusing, let's just call him bin Laden. That seems to be the only common denominator between languages.

#7 nlinecomputers

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 11:55 AM

I think Big Bruce is right. But if we saw this link Wikipedia, the name is written with an "U".
Regards,
Darthy



So change it. The thing about Wikipedia if you think it's wrong you can change it. (And then some other dude will change it back.) Which is why it is worthless as reference source, especially on anything for which politics might be a factor.
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#8 silmaril8n

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 12:26 PM

The best thing going for Wikipedia is the external sources at the end of the articles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osama_bin_Laden#External_links

Without that I would agree with nline.

#9 Constantine

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 08:21 PM

I have no issue with spelling his name Osama or Usama or any other way. My observation was aimed at the mindset of the established media and/or governments and the way they can subtly use language to affect our perceptions..without us even noticing.

Constantine
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#10 ussr1943

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 08:31 PM

http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm
go to the fbi terrorist most wanted site, its spelled usama, maybe thats the exact translation? it doesnt really matter we are going to get him and try him for acts of terrorism against the United States of America.
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#11 Constantine

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 08:46 PM

USSR,

You seem to be totally missing the point I am trying to make. I am not condoning anything he has done. I am not even talking about Bin Laden per se. I am drawing attention to our society; in particular our media and governmentsn and the subtle ways they use to manipulate us and condition us, in this case by the subtle use of language.

There are many exapmples of language being used to change our perceptions. A huge one is the term "credit card"...A misnomer if ever I heard one. It sounds good. Everybody wants good credit. But what if we called it what it is? "Debt Card"..that immediately changes our perception of this thing. In our minds it is not quite so desirable. It is "debt"..who wants debt?

Another example is "terrorist" or "freedom fighter" the two terms have very different connotations. Depending which one you use will largely determine the perceptions of your listener.


Constantine

Edited by Constantine, 20 December 2006 - 08:47 PM.

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#12 need TOS

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 09:36 PM

You have rought up and intresting point Constantine of how our media is changing just small things to get us to think of something another way. Kind of what Hitler did don't you think?

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#13 Constantine

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 09:51 PM

Im glad you agree. I don't however know enough about Hitler's methods to draw a comparison. However, If you look at our society you see this happening all over. We as "consumers" and "voters" are subtlely manipulated and conditioned. Not only for commercial purposes, but also for political and social ends.
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#14 Papakid

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 01:59 AM

I get your point. While what you are saying might be true, I think you are reading too much into it.

Altho it is not my profession I have an education in journalism. They have what is called a style book: http://www.apstylebook.com/

With language, especially English there are often several ways to skin a cat. So a style book sets what is considered standard if, say, your newspaprer is a member of the Associated Press. Just as an example--and I admit it is not a very good one--do we spell it color or colour? The Stylebook says, OK, we're always going to spell it color. That is the AP style so that all AP members are consistent.

So someone decided that the media will consistently spell it Osama. Even if they chose that over Usama because of USA in the name doesn't bother me in the least. How is that going to condition us? It's not hiding anything.

In fact I remember very well a short piece on TV about different spellings of the name. I may be wrong, but I think it may also be spelled with a Q instead of an O or U. That info came from the press. And not only the FBI, but also the Defense Department uses the U spelling: http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/12/13/tape.transcript/

Don't you think the DOD would be more likely to want to censor our perceptions?

I know you're on a kick about conditioning and consumerism and I actually agree with a lot of it. I really dislike how consumerism drives the US, and to some extent, the world economy at the high levels they are at now. And the way the internet is becoming one big marketing tool.

We get conditioned in all sorts of ways, not all of it bad. Sure the marketers and governmental lobbyists are going to try to bend your perceptions in order to get you to consume their goods and services. That's what their game is all about.

I just get the feeling you think everyone is victimized by conditioning and have no choice in the matter. Everyone is just a malleable lump of clay. That there are no independent thinkers. Well, I'm here to tell you that I for one am a GDI, and I know there are others out there.

There are worrying trends out there in this regard, but you know it is hard to not participate at least some on both sides. You can't really get around consuming something and there are many times that it is beneficial to conform. Just don't be obsessed with it.

I do worry that the younger generation is obsessed by consumerism and seem to want to be conformists more than those of us that have been around for about a half century or so. But that attitude of worry of the older generation has been around since ancient times. Youngsters always seem to do OK if they survive their childhood and mature. You can't really put any generation or set of people in a pigeonhole. Independance is addictive and will out. The percentages just may be a little lower now.

The thing about people

is they change

when they walk away.--Mipso


#15 Walkman

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 02:21 AM

The change in the 1st alphabet will throw off any inquires =. It's just a smoke screen so when when people search online according to the subject at hand.

It's a manipulative trick that has been used for years to make you search for something else, although the real search is there.

The mis-spelling of a "so-called" suspected terrorist name is no accident. It's done on purpose. It will put that name under the radar, and make that name invisible to the real seekers.

I gotta tell you, the government is so clever, they will manipulate one single character, just to keep their mark on the agenda safe and secure.

The mis-spelling of the name is just a trick to fool everyone searching online using that search term. By using the wrong 1st character, you'll most likely come up with a "not found" result. You may get a suggestion. But if you're not sure of the spelling... it'll take you though the ringer trying to find it.




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