What Are the Turning Radii of the new Prii?

Toyota prescribes the plural of "Prius"

2 min read

Toyota announced this week that it had ended what it called a “decade-long debate” by decreeing that the plural of Prius would be Prii henceforth and to the end of time. Okay, they didn’t say that last part.

Toyota unveiled the winning word at the Chicago Auto Show this morning. Jay Schwartz, head of content for Dictionary.com, was on hand to inform the public that, as the plural of Prius has now been determined, the term 'Prii' will be reflected in Dictionary.com.

After the more than 1.8 million votes were cast during the course of the six-week campaign, Prii beat out its four competitors: Prius, Priuses, Prium and Prien. Prius came in at a close second with 24 percent of the votes.

I can’t decide whether the French Academy should be pleased or will start to clear the ground of its plot at the Panthéon in preparation for turning over in its grave until the end of time.

On the one hand the Academy—the body that insisted for decades that un hot dog be referred to as a chien chaud and that e-mail could only be referred to as courier électronique—should be pleased that the decade-long debate was being resolved by executive fiat.

However, insofar as Toyota ratified the will of 1.8 million voters, instead of relying on its own team of 40 or so Immortals, the Academy would surely see the debate as resolved by the masses at their most revolting.

Ironically, the world seems to be moving away from charming and esoteric plurals in favor of applying the ordinary English rules of pluralization, regardless of a word’s foreign origin.

It’s likely that the 1.8 million are a self-selecting group of language mavens, effete intellectual snobs, and other Latin curricula alumni and alumnae, even as the self-same dictionary.com lists radiuses as an acceptable alternative plural for radius and even prefers memorandums to memoranda.

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We Need More Than Just Electric Vehicles

To decarbonize road transport we need to complement EVs with bikes, rail, city planning, and alternative energy

11 min read
A worker works on the frame of a car on an assembly line.

China has more EVs than any other country—but it also gets most of its electricity from coal.

VCG/Getty Images

EVs have finally come of age. The total cost of purchasing and driving one—the cost of ownership—has fallen nearly to parity with a typical gasoline-fueled car. Scientists and engineers have extended the range of EVs by cramming ever more energy into their batteries, and vehicle-charging networks have expanded in many countries. In the United States, for example, there are more than 49,000 public charging stations, and it is now possible to drive an EV from New York to California using public charging networks.

With all this, consumers and policymakers alike are hopeful that society will soon greatly reduce its carbon emissions by replacing today’s cars with electric vehicles. Indeed, adopting electric vehicles will go a long way in helping to improve environmental outcomes. But EVs come with important weaknesses, and so people shouldn’t count on them alone to do the job, even for the transportation sector.

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