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I suggested an edit which was rejected by 2 reviewers. I don't know why it was rejected but it could be because I removed 's' to 'informations'.

https://stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/35934740

Does this mean that information is always a mass noun? Apparently other languages treat it as a count noun (cf. German die Informationen, etc.). Why not English.

This question was closed as a duplicate, but the "duplicate" it linked to (which was also closed) had a single answer that was, in essence, "just because." That isn't very helpful.

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6 Answers 6

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Information is almost always a mass noun for native English speakers.

You can't say "multiple information" because "information" is never a count plural form. If you treat it as a count noun, its plural is "informations" (as others mentioned, that has some use, even though it's infrequent and many speakers don't like how it sounds).

The preferred method of making a plural when talking about information is to use a measure word: "multiple pieces of information". It's like furniture: English speakers normally say "the room has three pieces of furniture in it" rather than *"The room has three furnitures in it".

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Here's an image of the diff of your edit:

screenshot of https://stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/35934740

Your edit corrected one error (treating information as a count noun by pluralizing it), but it left another (treating information as a count noun by modifying it with multiple) and created a new one (putting spaces before question marks).

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8

"Information" is not countable. You can't say, "I had 2 informations". (Perhaps you can find examples of English speakers saying this, but I don't recall ever hearing it, and it's certainly not standard or common.)

Changing "multiple informations" to "multiple information" doesn't really help, because it's still treating "information" as countable. You can't have "multiple information" -- with or without the "s". If you really need something countable, add another word, like "multiple pieces of information" or "multiple units of information".

This is how it works in general with uncountable nouns. Like "bread" is uncountable. You can say, "I ate bread", but you can't say, "I ate two breads". You need another word that is countable, like "I ate two slices of bread" or "I ate two kilograms of bread".

(I didn't get into the SQL part of the question. I don't think any of that is relevant.)

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  • Information could be countable in say, police jargon. But that would be jargon and non-standard.
    – Andrew Leach
    May 15 at 17:38
  • 4
    @AndrewLeach Is that really used in police jargon? Meaning what? I've never heard it. But regardless, sure, any definition or usage of a word that one gives, there might be some technical jargon or dialect that uses it differently. That's interesting and should be noted, but doesn't change the general rule.
    – Jay
    May 16 at 9:17
  • 2
    "I ate two breads" is rare, but OK (BrE), meaning "I ate two types of bread". Consider "The bakery sold many fabulous breads". "Informations" however sounds unnatural, and is almost always wrong.
    – abligh
    2 days ago
  • Typically you express that plurality by saying multiple sources of or types of information. The term data has a similar situation in its treatment.
    – civitas
    2 days ago
  • @civitas Sure. It depends on what it is that is plural. You could have multiple sources. You could have multiple types. You could have multiple individual pieces or items of information. Etc.
    – Jay
    yesterday
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Information is a mass noun in English. If you're looking for a countable unit, you want a piece of information, or a fact.

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FWIW and IMHO...

The title

It seems to be been worded incorrectly, so,

WMI - query multiple informations

should be

Multiple WMI [information] queries

where the information is both optional and redundant

The body #1

As already noted, "multiple information(s)", with or without the 's', just sounds wrong. However, in the context of WMI, you can make multiple queries in order to get that info. So,

I want to get multiple informations from a few server in my environment

should be

I want to make multiple WMI queries from a few servers in my environment

or as Weather Vane notes, w.r.t. to the servers:

I want to make multiple WMI queries from some servers in my environment

The body #2

Information is an uncountable noun therefore:

... but is this code a good way to get the informations?

should be

... but is this code a good way to get the information?

-1

Information is the result of comprehending data. if you keep adding data, the information will become more complete, but it never becomes multiple; it is the epistemological end-state of having comprehended data.

It is possible to "share" information. But at some earlier point someone had to "digest" the data.

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