Your code snippet will fail because it tries to assign global var
FedPaper1 to the array that results from the split operation.
You can't assign anything to an anonymous result.

If you're trying to test that the result equals FedPaper1, try:

    f.downcase.gsub(/[.,-1234567890;:'"()]/, ' ').split == FedPaper1

If you're trying to assign the result to the FedPaper1 var, try:

    FedPaper1 = f.downcase.gsub(/[.,-1234567890;:'"()]/, ' ').split

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