|I stand corrected but refer here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plural... and this paragraph in particular:|
The English plural of virus is viruses, not viri. In most speaking communities this is non-controversial and speakers would not attempt to use the non-standard plural in -i. However, in computer enthusiast circles in the late 20th century and early 21st, the non-standard viri form (sometimes even virii) was well-attested, generally in the context of computer viruses. This has been attributed by commentators such as Tom Christiansen to a tendency among technical writers to favor Latin or Greek plurals over English ones when both are common (e.g. choosing indices over indexes) and a general tendency to introduce non-standard plural forms (e.g. VAXen, emacsen as the plurals of VAX and emacs, respectively).
While the number of users employing these non-standard plural forms of virus was always a proportionally small percentage of the English-speaking population, the variation was notable because it coincided with the growth of the internet, a medium on which its users were for a time over-represented. As the distribution of internet users shifted to be more representative of the population as a whole during the 2000s, the non-standard forms saw decline in usage. A tendency towards prescriptivism in the computer enthusiast community, combined with the growing awareness that viri and virii are not etymologically supported plural forms, also played a part.
Nonetheless, the question of what the Latin plural of virus would have been turns out not to be straightforward, as no plural form is attested in extant Latin literature. Furthermore, its unusual status as a neuter noun ending in -us apparently not of Greek origin obscures its morphology, making guesses about how it should have been declined difficult.