I recently had occasion (in a Wordorigins thread) to make the point that virus has no Latin plural, whereupon the excellent aldiboronti linked to a page that has an exhaustive discussion of that very matter. For practical purposes, all you need is the first line: “The plural of virus is neither viri nor virii, nor even vira nor virora. It is quite simply viruses, irrespective of context.” But the rest is lots of fun.
Incidentally, in investigating the origins of the username “aldiboronti” (short for Aldiborontiphoscophornio, a character in The Tragedy of Chrononhotonthologos: being the most tragical tragedy that ever was tragediz’d by any company of tragedians), I ran across Elizabeth Archibald’s delightful essay [no longer online] on the mad variety of books to be found at Yale:
Nor is Chrononhotonthologos a lone oddity by any means. Another eighteenth-century gem that seems to exemplify the same aesthetic is Xsmwpdribvnwlxy: or, The sauce-pan, tucked away in the stacks of Sterling Memorial Library. And Yale’s collection would be dubiously diminished without Benefit of farting farther explain’d, vindicated, and maintain’d, against those blunderbusses who will not allow it to be concordant to the cannon law, an explosive endeavor of the 1720s. But the astounding breadth of Yale’s collection is hardly limited to its books. Yale’s library offers its devotees a vast collection of periodicals: among the online periodicals alone, there are 157 whose titles begin with the letter X. In such an extensive collection, there is bound to be something for everyone—whether it be the American Poultry Journal or the ominous-sounding Pain Weekly. And naturally, Yale’s reference section is as extensive as its periodicals collection, featuring items like The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings, The Encyclopedia of Amazons, and the Iceland Telephone Directory.
Ah, for the days when I roamed the low-ceilinged aisles of Sterling!