• Feb 10, 2011
Toyota's "What's the plural of Prius?" contest has garnered more than 1.5 million votes so far spread among the five choices: Prien, Prii, Prium, Prius and Priuses. In the lead is "Prii," with 25 percent, followed a hair later by "Prius" at 24 percent, then there's daylight with "Priuses" at 20 percent, "Prien" at 18 percent, and "Prium" at an unheralded 12 percent.

And this contest will not go quietly into any good day or good night. Greg Thome, Toyota's product communications manager, said that the crowd favorite will be put to use as the next Prius famly models are rolled out over the next 18 months. Not only that, but Jaymie Robinson at Saatchi and Saatchi LA, the agency handling the contest, said, "We're in talks right now with Dictionary.com, working through the negotiations" to get "Prius" and its plural in the (online) dictionary. Said Ruslan Polinovsky, Toyota's auto show engagement manager, "we're going to see if 'Prius' qualifies as 'Kleenex' in the dictionary."

Those talks will apparently wrap up in the coming days, before the announcement of the winning word is made at a news conference at the Chicago Auto Show on February 20 at 11:30 a.m. CST. If the talks are successful, a representative from Dictionary.com will be on hand to dicuss the hybrid's lexicographic immortality. If not, well, the world will still hear all about it...

And as if that weren't enough, Chicago area dealers are giving away a Prius around the event as well. But no plurals this time; they're only giving away one.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 6 Days Ago
      No, in fact, we don't need "Prius" in the dictionary. Put it in an encyclopedia, sure, but "Prius" isn't one of those brand names that started being used as a generic term. Kleenex, Band-aid, Vaseline, and Google, I can understand. Kleenex, Vaseline, and Band-aid are so pervasive they started being used as generic terms to represent the type of product. Google got turned into a verb. These were natural progressions from colloquialisms to "de facto" titles because the product names were easier to use to than the real name of the product segment (e.g. facial tissue, petroleum jelly, adhesive bandage, online search). Prius still refers to a car that Toyota makes. Hybrid is the term people use for gas-electric cars, and it's a perfectly sufficient word to use. You put words people use in the dictionary, not words marketing groups make up.
      • 6 Days Ago
      Shut up with your stupid gimmicky promotion Toyota.
      • 6 Days Ago
      whooooooooooooo cares.............
      • 6 Days Ago
      Something I don't think Toyota leadership (obviously) doesn't get is that people don't just want great fuel efficiency (Prius) - they want off oil - period. Up to now the best you could do was buy a Prius (for a conventional car that doesn't have a battery that dies after 65k miles, hello Honda) - that is why they've sold so well. I doubt there is very much allegiance to the name as a brand (in my opinion) - just the idea (getting off oil).

      Once options exist within $5k of the Prius (the Leaf is within range of the top 2 levels of Prius already) people will drop the Prius like a bad habit unless Toyota has an option for them (which they've been doing their best to drag their heals with - plug in Prius).

      Toyota could go from a hero to a goat very quickly if other manufactures give customers better options to get off oil (instead of expensive hybrids and a very limited supply of plug-ins) - and at this point there are some are working to do just that. Toyota needs to be careful and so far they haven't been (trying to mine their Hybrid system for all its worth while putting off plug ins when they could have owned that market - now its too late, they blew that option). Just my $0.02.
      • 6 Days Ago
      Let me get this straight. Toyota is "in negotiations" with Dictionary.com to determine the "winning word"?

      It really reduces the value of dictionary definitions. Word definitions shouldn't be part of a contest. Word definitions shouldn't be for sale.

      What a load of crap.
      • 6 Days Ago
      if you make it light, aerodynamic and electric maybe. otherwise it can go swim in the mariana trench.
      toyota needs to know that the prius is fecal matter. a pure fossil fuel car like the prius is has no future. deal with it already