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Monies or moneys?

topic posted Thu, September 29, 2005 - 10:51 AM by  Pr0le
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They're both listed in the dictionary, but which is more proper?
posted by:
Pr0le
SF Bay Area
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  • Unsu...
     

    Re: Monies or moneys?

    Thu, September 29, 2005 - 12:02 PM
    I just tried googling for both for you to see if one turned up more prestigious sites.

    Here we see the Australian federal government uses Monies:

    www.dtf.wa.gov.au/cms/tre_content.asp

    And here we see the state government of the Northern Terriitories uses Moneys:

    www.nt.gov.au/ntt/unclaimed_moneys.shtml

    Now the Northern Territory (ie: Outback) is all full of those rough and uncultured folks, so, I'd personally go with their usage since I can relate to them types more.
    • Re: Monies or moneys?

      Thu, September 29, 2005 - 12:22 PM
      Thanks X.J.

      I found an etymological reference to Latin and how they used to say 'sums of money' which sounds more appropriate. I was hoping to find someone who could say well the newer version is x and the original version is y. I would even be happy with 'in the legal community one uses x...' since that's the context for which I am looking. Oh specifically for the US though. I mean, I think I would like to know it as it was originally used, but the specificity of use in the legal shpere here in the US would be awesome too.

      y'know?
  • Re: Monies or moneys?

    Thu, September 29, 2005 - 12:03 PM
    The same as "fish" and "fishes" (both plural).

    I don`t like to use "fishes", but, for example, portuguese do. I think it depends on the place.
    • Re: Monies or moneys?

      Thu, September 29, 2005 - 12:24 PM
      Yeah, that's what I've found, but just like nuclear and new-kyew-lar, some of that arises from coloquial use rather than origin. I'd like to try to locate origin and modern formal if it is possible.

      Thanks though.

      : )
    • Unsu...
       

      fish and fishes

      Thu, September 29, 2005 - 4:16 PM
      It's not fishies? Likewise, sheeps and uh, drawing a blank here.
      • Re: fish and fishes

        Thu, September 29, 2005 - 7:04 PM
        mooses, meecies (plural of mice, of course), louses (i find that one useful now and then... lice just doesn't have the same ring)

        silliness aside, I've seen some studies done on children and hyper correction (when kids say "no daddy, not geese, gooses") and it still amazes me how quickly such tiny beings embody language's rules.
        • Unsu...
           

          Re: fish and fishes

          Thu, September 29, 2005 - 7:41 PM
          There you go. I'm with the kids on this one.
          • Re: fish and fishes

            Thu, September 29, 2005 - 8:51 PM
            It`s for you X.J...some kiddy stuff:

            Why English Is Hard To Learn (anonymous)

            We'll begin with box; the plural is boxes,
            But the plural of ox is oxen, not oxes.
            One fowl is a goose, and two are called geese,
            Yet the plural of moose is never called meese.

            You may find a lone mouse or a house full of mice;
            But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
            The plural of man is always men,
            But the plural of pan is never pen.


            If I speak of a foot, and you show me two feet,
            And I give you a book, would a pair be a beek?
            If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
            Why shouldn't two booths be called beeth?


            If the singular's this and the plural is these,
            Should the plural of kiss be ever called keese?

            We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
            But though we say mother, we never say methren.
            Then the masculine pronouns are he, his, and him;
            But imagine the feminine... she, shis, and shim!
  • Re: Monies or moneys?

    Thu, September 29, 2005 - 5:40 PM
    When -y is preceded by a vowel, you just add -s
    (monkeys, turkeys, keys, toys, bays, galleys).

    But when preceded by a consonant, you replace only the -y with -ies
    (babies, lobbies, cities, ladies, galleries).

    Reason (my theory): When -y is preceded by a vowel, that vowel is important to the pronunciation (boy vs. bay vs. abbey vs. guy). So you can't drop *both* the -y and the vowel to add the -ies. But keeping the vowel would result in 'boies', 'baies', 'abbeies' ... just be too many vowels, as would 'moneies'.
    But when following a consonant, the '-y' is *always* pronounced 'ee', so replacing it with -ies is unambiguous.

    So, dammit, it should be 'moneys'. But man that looks weird to me.
    • Re: Monies or moneys?

      Thu, September 29, 2005 - 7:12 PM
      >> But when following a consonant, the '-y' is *always* pronounced 'ee', so replacing it with -ies is unambiguous. <<

      Ack. Nope. Found an exception: 'fly' (plural, flies). So my theory (for the reason behind the rule) has problems.

      But the rule still holds.

      It should be 'moneys'.
      • Unsu...
         

        Re: Monies or moneys?

        Thu, September 29, 2005 - 7:43 PM
        With English's roots so wide, I sometimes wonder if it is folly to pretend there are any rules at all.
        • Re: Monies or moneys?

          Thu, September 29, 2005 - 8:07 PM
          Well, it would be scary to imagine that there are no rules at all. I think of them as conventions that help keep spelling manageable (instead of just a massive memory task), and make written language readable.

          Can anyone think of any other exceptions?

          If not, can anyone think of a good reason this one would be a (solitary) exception?
          • Re: Monies or moneys?

            Thu, September 29, 2005 - 8:17 PM
            I think of them as conventions that help keep spelling manageable (instead of just a massive memory task),
            --
            though they have shown that most people who are good spellers (and "naturally good spellers, especially) are visual. they "see" the word in their head as they write it. or, they will look at a word adn jsut "know" it's spelled wrong, and "intuit" how to spell it correctly.

            ironically, people who have a poor time spelling, are often the ones who have to rely on rules - which do very little good unless you know teh lingustic roots of each word. Sure, it's logical why money becomes monies when you know that the root is from the Middle English "moneie", and not teh modern anglicized "money" that came in the last 200 years.

            ;-) OED unabridged. it is your friend. even if you can't spell.
            • Re: Monies or moneys?

              Thu, September 29, 2005 - 8:46 PM
              >> most people who are good spellers (and "naturally good spellers, especially) are visual. they "see" the word in their head as they write it. <<

              That only works if (a) they have seen the word a few times in print and it is spelled consistently the same; (b) they have seen similar words in print, and extrapolate a rule; or (c) they actually know a rule (like 'i' before 'e') that governs a word that they've never seen in print before.

              >> ironically, people who have a poor time spelling, are often the ones who have to rely on rules <<

              I'm a pretty good speller, and I use the rules all the time. Whenever I write a word like "deceive" or "receipt" you can hear me muttering to myself. :-)

              >> - which do very little good unless you know teh lingustic roots of each word. <<

              Sometimes the opposite happens ... the spelling gives clues to the linguistic roots of the word. That's one reason I'm a strong advocate of good spelling.
            • Re: Monies or moneys?

              Thu, September 29, 2005 - 11:04 PM
              "though they have shown that most people who are good spellers (and "naturally" good spellers, especially) are visual. they "see" the word in their head as they write it. or, they will look at a word adn jsut "know" it's spelled wrong, and "intuit" how to spell it correctly."

              -----

              Bingo, that's me. I'm the best speller I know (not to be conceited about it), and I attribute it to two things: being a voracious reader of English literature from a young age; and having a general facility with languages. But I will "know" a word is misspelled and then can work my way backwards to how it should look, either from memory or extrapolation (or interpolation, for that matter) from etymology. And the more languages I learn, the better my English gets.
        • Re: Monies or moneys?

          Thu, September 29, 2005 - 8:12 PM
          depends on what you mean by "rules".

          as a linguist, there are rules that are farily hard fast in english, (at least by SOUND... fuck spelling. who invented english spelling). if you want a plural, ad "ssss" sound, unless it already has "sss" sound, then ad "ez".

          I was recalling, today, the rule "i before e, except after c", which some teacher made me memorize somewhere. and other than chief, i'm not sure it ever works. ;-)

          There is a reason i study russian. ;-)
          • Re: Monies or moneys?

            Thu, September 29, 2005 - 8:22 PM
            >> I was recalling, today, the rule "i before e, except after c", which some teacher made me memorize somewhere. and other than chief, i'm not sure it ever works. ;-) <<

            It works about 9 times out of 10. So your teacher just gave a useful first-guess when you've forgotten how to spell a word. (There's have been other threads about this.)

            English spelling is admitedly a nightmare of exceptions ... but that's no reason to declare anarchy to be better.

            ... And I believe that exceptions often start like this ... a perfectly good rule would give us "moneys", but somebody, for no good reason, writes "monies", it sticks, and then everybody has to memorize a new exception.
            • Re: Monies or moneys?

              Thu, September 29, 2005 - 8:42 PM
              nd I believe that exceptions often start like this ... a perfectly good rule would give us "moneys", but somebody, for no good reason, writes "monies", it sticks, and then everybody has to memorize a new exception.
              ==
              lol. in my humor, you missed the answer to your question.

              the original word for what we today call "money" is "moneie". so, in this case, it's that teh "y" spelling for ie was the culprit. yet most old documents from early new england, victorian days, etc., and all the "styalized" documents that followed, use the orginal plural of monies.
      • Re: Monies or moneys?

        Tue, October 11, 2005 - 12:20 AM
        <<Ack. Nope. Found an exception: 'fly' (plural, flies).>>

        That doesn't seem like an exception to me. The "y" is pronounced like a long "i", not a long "e", as in "baby", "candy", etc. The words in the latter category (some of which you name in the earlier post) are also at least 2 syllables in length, while "fly" has only 1 syllable. It has a completely different structure (morphology?).
        • Re: Monies or moneys?

          Tue, October 11, 2005 - 12:42 AM
          butterfly? :-)

          [Actually there are dozens of multiple-syllable nouns that end in -fly ... (barfly, gadfly, dragonfly, ...) Admitedly, most are compound words having to do with the word "fly", but I'm not sure why that would make a difference. However, I can't think of any other examples other than words ending in -fly.]
  • Re: Monies or moneys?

    Thu, September 29, 2005 - 7:15 PM
    I would say that since the word is usually used in an archaic way, it's fine or preferable to go with the archaic monies. I can't say I've ever seen it spelled 'eys' but then again, I'm Canadian and I used to work in a law firm, so lots of weird things look normal to me.

    But I mean it's not like you say "Hon, run out and get me some moneys at the ATM," the word itself is used formally.
  • Roy
    Roy
    offline 8

    Re: Monies or moneys?

    Wed, October 12, 2005 - 6:19 AM
    I love that I can't measure up to the members of my tribe. The posts here are fantastic and I'm glad the Tribe found life without me.
    • Re: Monies or moneys?

      Wed, October 12, 2005 - 1:50 PM
      No one seems to have come back to "fish" vs. "fishes," so, being the pedantic little fishy that I am, 'fraid I must. The distinction, as I learned it (or learnt, if overseas), is that if one is speaking of a group of all the same sort of fish, the plural is fish. If, however, you are speaking of different varieties, the plural is fishes. So . . .

      He had several zebra fish in the aquarium.

      but

      Differentiating between the fishes of the Jurassic area is difficult without a detailed cheatsheet.

      Hope this helps . . .
      • Fish or fishes?

        Wed, October 12, 2005 - 6:43 PM
        It's not quite that simple. I have many different species (tetras, gouramis, danios) in my aquarium.
        I would not I say I "feed the fishes" every morning.
        When I go to the pet store to buy three or four different kinds, I would not ask for some fishes.
        So even when I'm speaking of a group of fish of many different species or varieties, I would still say "fish" for plural.

        I think the distinction is that the singular word 'fish' can either mean an individual fish, or a *type* of fish (such as a species or genus). When referring to a *type*, the plural is fishes.
        So a trout and a carp are two fish.
        And trout and carp are two types of fish.
        But trout and carp are two fishes.
        • Re: Fish or fishes?

          Wed, October 12, 2005 - 6:51 PM
          Unless of course you're Clemenza talking about Luca Brasi.
          Then you would say "Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes."
          • Re: Fish or fishes?

            Thu, October 13, 2005 - 8:55 AM
            Greetings Lexical Elitists. Really fun tribe!

            Isn't the distinction whether the speaker is distinguising between groups of fish? Each morning Fred feeds the fish in his aquarium. While he may have many species, he is referring to the collection in his aquarium generally.

            Hmmm.
            • Re: Fish or fishes?

              Thu, October 13, 2005 - 9:22 AM

              I am looking up Oxford Advanced Learner`s Dictionary and there I can see "fish" and "fishes" both for plural possible...
              There`s written:"The older form "fishes" can be used to reffer to different kinds of fish".

              So as I understand the old form is not used so widely. Why should we use "fishes" if it`s possible to use "fish" for both plural and singular? As for me "fishes"sounds odd:)
              • Fish or fishes? People or peoples?

                Thu, October 13, 2005 - 10:09 AM
                See my above post (before the Godfather reference).

                Perhaps it's kinda like "person", "people", and "peoples".
                The plural of 'person' is 'people' (leaving aside 'persons' for the moment).
                But then you take that plural word 'people', and use it as a singluar word to mean a *type* of person such as a nationality or (how appropriate) a tribe.
                So you might say "the Yanomamo are a proud people".
                And then that word itself has a plural ... "the peoples of the Amazon include the Yanomamo and Sanuma.".
                • Unsu...
                   

                  OT: Yanamamo

                  Fri, October 14, 2005 - 11:14 AM
                  Man that documentatary on the tiny Yanomamo tribe was something else.

                  Summary: Anthropologist and film-maker are living in the jungle with tiny Yanomano tribe. Documentarian, without being judgemental or really making any comment at all, shows facinating long, multi-year progression of events in which Anthropologist justifies to himself why he needs to bring 'untouched tribe' tee shirts, flashlights, annd non-stick pans. Anthropologist moves in with and get 12 year old Yanomamo girl with bone through her nose preggers, marries her and then decides to take her to his home in New Jersey. She moves into a tiny apartment in the burbs and then begins HER commentary which is exactly how much she thinks New Jersey sucks big time and her husband is not all that. She tricks here husband into taking her back to visit relatives whereupon she runs off into the jungle to escape him.

                  Best. Documentary. Ever.
              • Re: Fish or fishes?

                Thu, October 13, 2005 - 12:42 PM
                What about the case of "Loaves and ...?"
                • Re: Fish or fishes?

                  Fri, October 14, 2005 - 8:12 AM
                  If I am supposing correctly, "loaves and fishes" originated in the King James translation of the bible, so we could say that in the 16th c or whenever it was, people used "fishes" over "fish."

                  There's a reason of poetics to use that phrase; it's symmetrical and it flows nicely. I think it also emphasizes the miracle: if you said loaves and fish it doesn't really jump out at you that there were more fish than just one (or however many they started out with).
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Fish or fishes?

                    Fri, October 14, 2005 - 1:07 PM
                    Great point, Deborah! 'Fish' has yet a fourth meaning (the other three we've been talking about: a single fish, several fish, and a type of fish). It also means 'fish-meat', which can be a lot or a little ... 'fishes' has a clearer connotation of quantity.

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