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Why does the minibuffer get updated

From: Decebal
Subject: Why does the minibuffer get updated
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 08:43:42 -0800 (PST)
User-agent: G2/1.0

I like to have a wordcount displayed. I tried it with the following:
    (defun buffer-count-words()
      (let ((occurences
             (how-many "\\w+" (point-min) (point-max))
        (string-match "[0-9]*" occurences)
        (match-string 0 occurences)

    (defvar buffer-count-words
      "*Number of words in the buffer."

    (defun buffer-update-word-count()
      (setq buffer-count-words (buffer-count-words))

    (unless buffer-count-words
      (run-with-idle-timer 1 t 'buffer-update-word-count)

    (unless (memq 'buffer-count-words global-mode-string)
      (add-to-list 'global-mode-string " words: " t)
      (add-to-list 'global-mode-string 'buffer-count-words t)

This does display the word count, but also keeps putting in the
minibuffer '<NUMBER> occurences'.
What am I doing wrong?

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