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Counting words

The standard Emacs distribution contains a function for counting the number of lines within a region. However, there is no corresponding function for counting words.

Certain types of writing ask you to count words. Thus, if you write an essay, you may be limited to 800 words; if you write a novel, you may discipline yourself to write 1000 words a day. It seems odd to me that Emacs lacks a word count command. Perhaps people use Emacs mostly for code or types of documentation that do not require word counts; or perhaps they restrict themselves to the operating system word count command, wc. Alternatively, people may follow the publishers' convention and compute a word count by dividing the number of characters in a document by five. In any event, here are commands to count words.