When one tries to sort a list of words, the word in the first row stays there.
Steps to reproduce:
1. Enter a in cell A1, b in A2 and c in A3
2. Select those 3 cells
3. Click on the 'Sort descending' button (Or similar)
The result is this
Browser: Mozilla/5.0 (Ubuntu; X11; Linux i686; rv:8.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/8.0
Effect is reproducible with Parallel Dev-Installation of "LibreOffice 3.5.0 Beta2- WIN7 Home Premium (64bit) German UI [Build-ID : 8589e48-760cc4d-f39cf3d-1b2857e-60db978], but it's a feature, not a bug.
I am pretty sure that in "sort by" you saw "a" instead "A1"? That means in Tab "Options" "'Range contains column labels' is checked. So "a" is aour column label. and everything you describe is correct.
Yes, I saw this option in the dialogue. But unchecking it isn't persistent. And what would most people expect? I reported this because someone on the LO Facebook page had a problem, so I wonder whether this behavior is LO specific or if Excel works the same.