Personas or Personae?

Hi all you marketers, I have a minor point I would like to chat about. I went to Inbound 2014 in Boston last fall and it was terrific!  Hubspot really does a great job with that conference.

I do have a little lighthearted discussion I’d like to start though. I call your attention to the “Fictional Character” we marketers create as a representative of the prospect we are marketing to, a.k.a. the “Buyer Persona”. Most marketers seem to call a group of them personas.

Call me crazy, but I thought it was personae.

Here is what I get from Merriam-Webster on the subject.

per·so·na – Pronunciation: \pər-ˈsō-nə, -ˌnä\: noun : plural per·so·nae \-(ˌ)nē, -ˌnī\ or personas

Etymology: Latin Date: 1909

1: a character assumed by an author in a written work

2a: a plural personas [New Latin, from Latin] : an individual’s social façade or front that especially in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung reflects the role in life the individual is playing

2b: the personality that a person (as an actor or politician) projects in public : image

3: plural personae : a character in a fictional presentation (as a novel or play) —usually used in plural <comic personae >

I imagine these as fictional characters rather than individual “social façades”. Hence PERSONAE.


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