Howegrown wordcount

Thomas Philips tkpmep at
Fri Jun 11 20:05:32 CEST 2004

I've coded a little word counting routine that handles a reasonably
wide range of inputs. How could it be made to cover more, though
admittedly more remote, possibilites such as nested lists of lists,
items for which the string representation is a string containing lists
etc. etc. without significantly increasing the complexity of the

Thomas Philips 

def wordcount(input):
    from string import whitespace
    #Treat iterable inputs differently
    if "__iter__" in dir(input):
        wordList =(" ".join([str(item) for item in input])).split()
        wordList = [str(input)]

    #Remove any words that are just whitespace
    for i,word in enumerate(wordList):
        while  word and word[-1] in whitespace:
            word = word[:-1]
        wordList[i] = word
    wc = len(filter(None,wordList)) #Filter out any empty strings
    return wc

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