Blogos has a post about last words in dissertations. When I began writing my dissertation, I became obsessed with the first word. I spent a week trying to figure out what it should be. The first word of the diss, I figured, was the first word of my professional career, and would symbolize the whole. After much thought, I decided on "Extreme." A bit overly dramatic, perhaps, in retrospect.
I didn't know my last word, though, so I looked it up. The last word of mine is "interesting." I hadn't thought about the last word being significant, so when I looked it up, I was surprised at how the entire last sentence sums up my career: "And, strangely enough, we also learn what one man found interesting."
h/t Inside Higher Ed