Why I Prefer the Last Word

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin

The title is misleading. When I think of someone having the “last word,” I cannot help but think of a brat. A kid who always has a rebuttal, someone who can’t just leave an argument finished. They have to be the top dog, and they feel like having the last word, whether it contributes to the conversation or not is none of their concern, is their way of “winning.”

Recently I finished the the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (read it for free here as a part of Project Gutenberg). He states that he developed “the habit of expressing…[himself] in terms of modest diffidence.” This is something that I have done for as long as I can remember. I prefer to contemplate my words before I let them out of my mouth. Because of this I will not be quick to respond and it may even be a long, awkward to other people, pause before I speak. I don’t necessarily consider this the “last word,” but I do consider it a practice of meaning what I say and forming proper sentences before I say them.

How about you? Do you prefer to have the first or last word? How do you define the “last word?” Have you read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin?

2 thoughts on “Why I Prefer the Last Word

  1. Noting like a woman scorned to have her final word 😛 lol Jk!

    I see many people here that have to have the last word in everything. I think it’s part of their culture and how they are raised. Also, it could be because they weren’t given enough attention as a child 😛 lol jk!

    For me it’s more or less the level of conversation and content of the conversation. If I am in conversation with someone that I know is debate-like, obviously we both want to get our points across. However, I think it’s appropriate at times to make your point and leave it alone. Sometimes the last word isn’t always appropriate or smart.

    I, like you think before I speak now. I reflect on what comes out of my mouth before I say it. I had a bad situation happen to me almost half a year ago because I did the exact OPPOSITE. In hindsight, I would have chosen my words carefully or said nothing at all.

    There is a time and place to have the last word. But there is also a time and place to keep your mouth shut. I’m now finding balance between the two :).


    1. There is definitely a balance that needs to be found. I think that if the purpose of the conversation is clear and if you are choosing to be wise with your words that the balance should come easier. Sometimes it might be a pride related issue, and that is something that should be dealt with promptly.

      On this note, I should publish here a portion of the paper I wrote about Benjamin Franklin. His rules for the Junto Club apply here.

      Thanks for your comment and insight!


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