The above title was carefully worded, and this post is meant to convince you to pay special attention not only to word choice in general but to words first and last. Briefly, I considered alternative titles such as:
1. "First Words and Last Words"
2. "First and Last Words"
3. "Words First and Last"
How do you suppose I came to my decision? Obviously the answer has something to do with the importance of first and last words. Do you see what I did there? That time I ended with the word "words" because that time I wanted "words" to be the last thought in your head.
First words announce and transition.
Last words echo.
So let's take a closer look at my proposed first and last word options. "Words" works because it immediately gets readers thinking about the topic of words, but I went with "First" because I think it better emphasizes the importance of first word choices. Similarly, "Words" as a last word is not as powerful as is "Last" for advancing my theme.
Now take a look at these lists...
First words used so far: First, This, Briefly, First, First, Words, How, Obviously, Do, That, First, Last, So, Words, Similarly, Now
Last words used so far: Last, last, Words, Words, Last, decision, words, there, head, transition, echo, options, choices, theme, list
Notice that first words are trickier to wrangle. "This," for example, is a pronoun, abstract and vague, not a great first word; but in the first sentence it's coupled with "title" as a sort of compound word unit: "this title," which is effective.
I try to be intentional in all of my writing, including first words and last. Do you?
Writer, reader, runner, teacher, father, infp, huffleclaw.