Yahoo has an article on how apostrophes and other non-English punctuation in people's names cause a lot of trouble, specially when computers are involved.
It can stop you from voting, destroy your dental appointments, make
it difficult to rent a car or book a flight, even interfere with your
More than 50 years into the Information Age, computers are still
getting confused by the apostrophe. It's a problem familiar to
O'Connors, D'Angelos, N'Dours and D'Artagnans across America.
They also say:
It's not just the bad luck o' the Irish. French, Italian and African
names with apostrophes can befuddle computer systems, too. So can Arab
names with hyphens, and Dutch surnames with "van" and a space in them.
The article is "By SEAN ODRISCOLL, Associated Press Writer". Note the missing apostrophe, as he says at the end of the article!
I have personally been at the receiving end of this: This is why my last name is now spelled as "Baheyeldin", not "Bahey El Din", "Bahey-El-Din" or "Bahey-Eldin", as I used to. Hotels would have me under B, E or D, depending on how they interpreted the names.
The down side is that "Baheyeldin" is a) unpronouncible to English speakers, and b) a bit too long, but I guess one can't win them all.
Drupal suffers from the same problem as well. Issue #165226 has a patch that fixes this for Drupal 5.x, 6.x and 7.x. Please review and test this patch.
Now, if only "Khalid" can be pronounced with a short "i" ...