Obama Osama Confusion A Deadly Funny International Phenomenon

Last Update 18th August, 2017

Remember back in 2011, the funny international phenomenon: Obama Osama confusion?

It was on the 2nd May 2011 when Osama bin Laden, the founder and head of the Islamist group Al-Qaeda, was killed in Pakistan by U.S. forces.

The Malaysia cartoon below is about this hilarious mixed-up happening.

obama osama confusion cartoonThis Obama-Osama mixed up is making the world laughing, while at the same time celebrating the news of the death of Osama bin Laden.

Obama Osama Confusion The World Over

Before we even heard about the funny Fox News Obama/Osama embarrassing gaff, we were already jokingly asking, “Obama or Osama is dead?” when we first heard the news.

Obama Osama confusionIt is no surprise that many folks did mixed up with these two similar-sounding names, Obama and Osama.

The list include Geraldo Rivera, the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sky News, BBC, the website for ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, NPR, MSNBC reporter Norah O’Donnell and others.

Why does this Obama-Osama mixed-up happen?

The most obvious reason for making the verbal slip up is the names differ by only a letter and also have very similar pronunciations.

What happens is the speaker has anticipated the ‘b’ of Bin laden and moved it up to replace the ‘s’ in Osama.

It is an anticipation error, where there is a string of sounds.

And the person jumps ahead in the string and selects one sound too soon and inserts it.

It’s an understandable slip.

Both words are names; they are separated by just one letter; and the words are also often used in close proximity.

We are more likely to make this error is because most of us have already stored the full name “Osama Bin Laden” as one chunk in our mind.

Because of this, it makes it more likely we’ll skip ahead to the “b” in Bin Laden, missing the first word in the whole chunk (Osama).

For many Malaysians, these two names sound lebih kurang SAMA (almost the same).

Well, as they say, similarity breeds confusion and laughter.

Or the serious note, these two famous personalities who changed the course of the history of the United States and the world in the new millennium.

You can read more about the strange saga of Osama  and Obama.