Ferrari or Ferraris

By: Jeff Littrell

The previous article made me think about a debate I?ve been having with a colleague. I work with a gentleman named Gianni. He?s from Milan and came to this country in 1990.

He professes to be extremely annoyed anytime he sees or hears the word ?Ferraris.? He claims that in Italian Ferrari is already plural. In Italy they would say ?Uomini veri guidano una Ferrari.? The same premise applies to other words that end in the letter ?i?, such as Ravioli. Of course, he also shatters other common American misconceptions about Italy. For example, he claims that Fettuccini Alfredo doesn?t even exist in Italy. Alfredo sauce is an American invention. I also suspect that he doesn?t fit the bill of the stereotypical Italian lover but I didn?t want to question him on that one.

I?ve tried to explain that Ferrari is Enzo?s surname (as if he didn?t already know this) and therefore cannot be assumed to be both singular and plural. There is no way I can win this argument but I?m a typical stubborn American so I won?t give in easily.

The real point is that, as Editor of this fine publication, I am responsible for the grammatical correctness of the content. How can I continue to publish ?Ferraris? when I know it?s wrong? The problem is, I?m afraid that most readers would question the correctness of ?Real men drive their Ferrari? or ?He has a fine collection of Ferrari.?

Should I go for it or should I cave into the English idiom? Call, write, e-mail, or fax your opinion (the numbers and addresses are on page 3). We?ll see how many of you actually read this far.