[texworks] Wordcount

CB cb.lists at gmail.com
Sat Aug 1 12:57:14 CEST 2009

2009/8/1 Mojca Miklavec <mojca.miklavec.lists at gmail.com>:
> If you need just informative word count, anything can do (copy from
> pdf and paste into word or "wc" in command line), but if you need to
> write an article with exactly some number of words or if you need to
> charge a client for translation of text that's X words long ... those
> statistics can be highly misleading and I would not rely on them.

I can't really imagine that anyone places that much store in a word
count. What people generally want in my experience is a ballpark
figure, either for a whole document, or (just as often) for what
they've added in a given writing session (generally obtained by
highlighting the added portion). Differences are as frequently used as
absolute numbers ("I need to trim about 300 words ...").

It's possible that such facilities cause problems if people
overestimate their accuracy, but I'd consider that a caveat emptor
situation. Wordcounts, warts and all, are useful, and hence are used.

You've given an informative summary of the difficulties involved in
providing a word count that would be adequate for actuarial purposes.
I'm not sure whether or not you mean to say that providing a more
quotidian variety isn't worth doing.

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