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A Trade-Last Expects a Compliment in Return

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Debbie from Memphis, Tennessee, grew up in Arkansas, where she learned the term trade-last, which refers to “a quoted compliment offered in return for the recipient first offering one to the speaker.” Although those from the American South may remember this practice as a sweet, harmless interaction, writer Nora Ephron, in her book I Remember Nothing (Bookshop|Amazon) describes a trade-last or T.L. as “a strange, ungenerous, and seriously narcissistic way of telling someone a nice thing that has been said about them.” This is part of a complete episode.

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