I've used Emacs and various work-alikes (mg, joe, etc) for nearly twenty years and am still learning new things. I'm currently using it as in text-mode for my novel, which I work on mostly using my netbook (Asus Eee, highly recommended) where heavier-weight food processors like LibreOffice (isn't that what we're calling it this week?) won't do. I've tried AbiWord but it has a number of bugs that range from annoying (a tendency to put close-quotes on their own line) to disastrous (removing the first capital letter after every open-quote when I changed the font, believe it or not.)
Since all I really want to do is get words on the page, Emacs is the obvious choice, although the flyspell-mode is sometimes laggy on trivial mis-spellings, particularly words beginning with "th".
But there's no native word-count command, and while I did find some elisp code that will do the job the instructions described in the poem were in a comment on the blog post that contained it. The comment reads, in full:
Or, if you wanna make it really easy, just go to the start of the region you want to count, then C-space (then move to end of region) M-| Enter (then type) wc -w Enter and it tells you.
In fairness, it is presumably aimed at Emacs-literate people, but it struck me how absurd it was to call such arcane esoterica "easy".
The poem really does scan as iambic pentameter, although I've taken a few liberties with the Emacs vernacular to do it. "C" and "M" are read in the poem as "see" and "em", not "control" and "meta". "Pipe" is the "|" character (of course... what else would it be?!?) The dashes after C and M are not voiced. "wc -w" is read as "double-you see dash double-you", as one would normally read it from the command line.
In keeping with my thoughts of digital longevity in the the poem of a couple of days ago, it's curious to think that decades after the last DECScope/VT-52 has gone out of service, parts of its keyboard terminology live on.