Wasn't quite the problem but led me to what was. I believe I removed info previously when trying to get TeX to work (since info is called "texinfo" not just "info" it seems). Running /usr/bin/info works fine, but "info" itself returns the error.
> which info
It's picking that one first (I don't even know what it is or why it doesn't work) because that directory is set before $PATH in my .bashrc. I don't remember why it had to go before, but when I was playing around trying to get TeX to work I figured out I needed that to go first otherwise it would run the wrong thing. What's the best solution here? I'd move my PATH around but that would break TeX and I don't remember enough about the installation process to fix it. I'd rename that info file that's being run but I assume it's required by TeX for something, so that's not good. If the info that's being run is the same as the real system "texinfo" then I'd upgrade that so it's using the right libraries, but I don't know how to do that either. Any suggestions? What are these two info programs anyway, and why are they tied in to TeX?
Just to clarify, I accidentally removed Slackware's texinfo package when removing/reinstalling things to get TeX to work since it started with tex and I assumed it was related. I've now downloaded and installed the most recent Slackpkg of texinfo so /usr/bin/info is in place and working (other than the problem described above).