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Information vs Informations
So, you may have been writing a case digest for, say Criminal Law, when after writing a few sentences you review what you wrote and came across a line similar to this:
“…The fiscal then submitted three informations against the three accused…”
If you are using Microsoft Word, you may have seen the red underline below the word “informations”. This obviously indicates that your spelling is wrong.
So, is your spelling wrong?
For purists out there, your spelling is definitely wrong. In standard English, it is not acceptable to put “s” after information to indicate plurality because information is an uncountable noun. Others would however find exception in the fact that information can be categorized i.e. sources or types of information, hence, informations is acceptable.
In the legal world, informations is definitely acceptable so don’t get worried if MS Word keeps putting that red mark underneath it. As defined by the Rules of Criminal Procedure, “An Information is an accusation in writing charging a person with an offense, subscribed by the prosecutor and filed with the court.”
An information is actually a legal document submitted by a prosecutor with the court charging an accused with the commission of a crime. It is still used as a noun but it refers to a legal document. So, informations, in the legal world, simply means a number of written accusations filed against an accused or several accused.
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