With the release this month of the new iPhone models 5c and 5s, God and I got to talking about undeclared letters in product names. There’s lots of choices for what those “c” and “s” letters can stand for, and I’m sure that Apple enjoys people spending time speculating about it.
We also spent some time talking about the current lineup of Prius models from Toyota. Unlike the iPhones there’s three models of Toyota’s flagship hybrids, but like the phones there’s only two appended letters. The current lineup is the Prius, the Prius C and the Prius V. When they moved from a single model to a family of models, with the 2012 model year, they added the “c” as a smaller model and the “v” as a larger model.
God asked me if I had any guesses what the “c” and “v” might stand for. I told him I thought it was an obvious homage to the graphical interfaces that grace our personal computers. Oh sure maybe somebody in their marketing department had originally suggested “c” to mean “compact” but that same sort of obviousness doesn’t carry over to the “v”. I think somebody was thinking of the original Macintosh and it’s introduction to the world of command-c for “copy” and command-v for “paste”. What they “cut” from the “c” to make it smaller, they “pasted” to the “v” to make it larger.