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grep for n or more periods on a given line

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linux-howto

http://unix.stackexchange.com – I want to be able to arbitrarily match lines that contain a lot of periods, like this: $ echo "there's. someone on the wing. some. thing." | grep -stuFF [[:idunno:]]{4,} there's. someone on the wing. some. thing. I tried, blindly gropingly: grep -P [[.]]{\4,\} textfile grep -P \.{\4,\} textfile and then tried something I knew would work at some level grep -P [[:punct:]]{\4,\} textfile but [[:punct:]]{\4,\} disappointingly just picked up a lot of the lines I wanted grep to miss so that I could turn the command around and do a grep -v. Even doing grep -P '\.{4,}' does not return the li (HowTos)