Here’s a thought: when Destiny’s Child sang, “All the honeys that making money, throw your hands up at me,” were they annoyed that “honeys” and “money” didn’t make an exact rhyme? Were they right to say “money” and not “moneys” or “monies”? Did they miss an opportunity for poetic perfection? Am I over-analyzing things again?
Hold that thought, early-Beyoncé fans. Do you know the difference between “money” and “moneys” and “monies”?
The good news here—for all of us—is that Beyoncé, Kelly, and Michelle were absolutely right in their use of “money.” This is an example of a mass noun, which often refers to an uncountable abstract. We’re talking about the idea of cash or capital, not a specific amount of dollars or cents. There’s a plurality that’s understood in “money,” which is what often confuses people about the uses of “moneys” or “money.”
So here’s the rub:
For the majority of us, the only word we ever need to use is “money.” The plural forms are sometimes used in the legal or financial worlds when specifying individual sums of money, but the correct form is arguable. While many style guides still recommend “moneys,” “monies” has been gaining popularity and is found most commonly today. If you are in a field that uses the plural form, I’d recommend “monies”; however, my true recommendation is just to keep things simple and go with “money.”
As for “All the mommas who profit dollas,” I’m not even going to touch that. Thus ends today’s grammar note via a flashback.