Is Prii a Gramatically Correct Word?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Rebound, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    3,912
    2,515
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Does anyone remember enough Latin to know if Prii is a grammatically correct way to pluralize Prius? I think it is not, but the grammar rules of Latin are very complicated.

    Many people think that a Latin noun ends in -us for singular and -i for plural, but that is not true. If Prius is a second declension Latin noun, then its spelling is like so:
    Column 1
    0 Case Singular Plural
    1 nominative Pri·us Pri·ī
    2 genitive Pri·ī Pri·ōrum
    3 dative Pri·ō Pri·īs
    4 accusative Pri·um Pri·ōs
    5 ablative Pri·ō Pri·īs
    6 vocative Pri·e Pri·ī
    7 locative Pri·ī Pri·īs


    But if this is so, then your car is a "Prius" only when it is the subject of a sentence:
    "Prius is the world's best car." (singular)
    "Prii are the best cars in the world." (plural)

    But in Genitive case:
    "I am a Prii fan". (singular)
    "I am a Priis fan" (plural)

    The most common use of Prius is in the Dative case:
    "Let's get in the Prio and go to the mall." (singular)
    "Let's log into PriusChat and talk about our Priis." (plural)

    "Let's go to the mall in the Prium." (singular accusative)

    "Dude, where's my Prii?"

    You get the idea. You don't pluralize something in Latin by just taking an -i onto it.
     
  2. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    3,288
    544
    0
    Location:
    2014 Prius c
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I thought Prius is neutral from prior, so in plural it should be priora:
    Column 1
    0 Number Singular Singular Plural Plural
    1 Case\Gender M.F. N. MM.FF. NN.
    2 nominative prior prius priōrēs priōra
    3 genitive priōris priōris priōrum priōrum
    4 dative priōrī priōrī priōribus priōribus
    5 accusative priōrem prius priōrēs priōra
    6 ablative priōre priōre priōribus priōribus
    7 vocative prior prius priōrēs priōra
     
  3. Trebuchet

    Trebuchet Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    3,772
    936
    43
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Plural of Prius, Prii? Not According to Latin Experts - KickingTires

    Nick Young, a Latin and classical studies instructor at the University of Detroit Mercy, told the Detroit Free Press that the plural of “Prius” is actually "Priora" or "Priores."

    Ben Zimmer, a columnist for the New York Times, counters that either “Priora” or “Prii” are correct answers, but he told the Free Press that adding Latin plurals to “Prius” seems a bit forced. “We're not speaking Latin. We might as well form the word the way English plurals are formed," Zimmer said.

    In that case, the plural really should be “Priuses,” even if it sounds a bit silly.
     
  4. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    3,912
    2,515
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Aha! Let's try that...

    "Prius is the world's best car." (singular)
    "Priora are the best cars in the world." (plural)

    But in Genitive case:
    "I am a Prioris fan". (singular)
    "I am a Priorum fan" (plural)

    The most common use of Prius is in the Dative case:
    "Let's get in the Priori and go to the mall." (singular)
    "Let's log into PriusChat and talk about our Prioribus." (plural)

    "Let's go to the mall in the Prius." (singular accusative)
     
  5. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    15,231
    1,561
    0
    Location:
    off into the sunset
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Sometimes, grammatically correct is just plain awkward. 'Pree-eye' is a perfect example, and 'Priusses' isn't a whole lot better. Prius as both singular and plural seems the simplest and most elegant.
     
  6. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    18,058
    3,052
    7
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    There is also the Canadian form: "Prius-A".

    Tom
     
  7. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    3,912
    2,515
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I agree, it's "
    ."

    However, if we are to pluralize Prius as if the word is Latin, Prii isn't correct. The plural is Priora, Priorum, or Prioibus, depending upon how you use the word in a sentence.
     
  8. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    14,487
    1,512
    0
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    This is why I think it is silly to treat a word derived from Latin or Greek as though we were speaking those languages. We are not. We are speaking (or writing) English. I treat "Prius" as though it were a made-up name, and I use "Priuses" as the plural, though I accept "Prius" as some English words are their own plural. Similarly I speak of forums rather than fora. OTOH, sometimes common usage is otherwise: If we have more than one datum it becomes data.

    What I think is really silly is that I've seen people here on Prius Chat use "Prii" as the singular!
     
  9. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    18,058
    3,052
    7
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    This is the general rule followed by most copy editors. Once a word becomes common in English it is treated as an English word, with normal English rules.

    Tom
     
  10. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    2,641
    263
    0
    Location:
    Western NY
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I don't care for the word at all. Priuses was fine.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    18,058
    3,052
    7
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Said in your best Sylvester the cat voice.

    Tom
     
  12. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    4,539
    1,425
    9
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Being silly is good enough reason to use it. If it bugs Latinos (or whatever you call those long dead Latins), so much the better.
     
  13. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    3,462
    1,528
    1
    Location:
    Trumbull, CT
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius
    Model:
    LE AWD-e
    This controversy is over. Toyota had Prius owners vote and the decision was "Prii". Let's just get along.

    JeffD
     
  14. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    15,231
    1,561
    0
    Location:
    off into the sunset
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Look, there's a Prius. Hey, there's another one. ;)
     
  15. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    15,231
    1,561
    0
    Location:
    off into the sunset
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The pronunciation is close, but your spelling gives you away. If it's any consolation, I hunch we'll be in agreement with the Prius C. :)
     
  16. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    7,202
    5,905
    0
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I personally eschew the PREE-EYE thing. It doesn't bother me, I just don't look to a car manufacturer's poll for guidance on how I refer to a group, gaggle, or bunch of their products.

    I'm not trying to be a buzz-kill or anything, but the fact is I own a Harley, and as fanatical as that group of folks tend to be, I also avoid the leather and tassels look as well. No.....I don't have a tat either...and I'm a sailor! :eek:

    I've never been much of a follower I guess.....:D
     
  17. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    3,912
    2,515
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    But, but, but... Priora wasn't even one of the choices. I have to admit, "Prius goes Plural" was a clever campaign.
     
  18. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    15,231
    1,561
    0
    Location:
    off into the sunset
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Yes, that was a clever campaign. Toyota could have made the whole thing much easier by saying "Prius IS plural", but that would have taken all the fun out of it. :)
     
Loading...