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By default, wc print result along with filenames. If you want only the result, you must make wc read input from stdin: </usr/share/dict/words wc -w > ~/dicwords.txt With your current solution, you can use some other tools to get only the result from wc, like cut, awk, grep... wc -c /usr/share/dict/words | cut -d' ' -f1 > ~/dicwords.txt

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