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Got More Than One Prius? You've Got 'Prii'.

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On: Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 10:26AM | By: Chris Weiss

Got More Than One Prius? You've Got 'Prii'.

Try this on for size: Last year, several Priuses had problems with accelerating into things. Nope, that's all wrong. It should read: Last year, several Prii had problems with accelerating into things. Yep, that's accurate.

At least, as of this week. Toyota announced earlier this week that it had concluded its "Prius goes plural" ad campaign, originally launched at the North American Internation Auto Show. And the voters have spoken: it will be Prii and not Priuseseseses.

Like the ever-perplexing "cactus", making the Prius plural long presented a problem: do I add an extra "es" or do I use an "i". And Toyota decided to nip this ambiguity in the bud—albeit after years of the Prius being on the market. In addition to Prii and Priuses, Toyota presented the zero-plural alternative "Prius", and two others: Prium and Prien. According to the company's numbers, Prii narrowly defeated Prius with 25 percent of the vote (to 24 percent for Prius). About 1.8 million people weighed in on the question.

At this point, I would have thought that Toyota would have a more official way of saying plural Prius. I've moved on to trying to crack the conundrum of whether it should be Nissan Leafs or Nissan Leaves. When writing about cars, I tend to use an avoidance technique by writing "Nissan Leaf models" or "Nissan Leaf units". Slightly inefficient, but it allows me to skirt the obvious grammatical ambiguities altogether.

But I guess I'll no longer have to do it with the Prius. From here on out it's Prii, though that would have been my last choice. How do you even say that? According to Detroit Free Press, it follows the cacti example: Pri-EYE.

The designation comes at a time when Toyota is spinning the Prius into its own sub-brand with a number of Prius vehicles on the horizon, including a Prius V crossover and a plug-in hybrid.



DipStick | 2:31PM (Fri, Feb 25, 2011)

I think that when there are several Prius cars together they should be called a PILE...


imwithcoco | 1:14PM (Mon, Feb 28, 2011)

Does anyone care?

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