"word" as in 'word count'

Posted by Abe on November 17, 2004

I read yesterday that the average reported was permitted a maximum of about "1000 words".

Recently I read that people who visit forums read about "73 words" before clicking next or page down.

Are "-", "I", "73" words? Is "St. Louis" one word or two?

(I once worked on a bugfix where any eight bits was a "word".)

How would you count words?