A role at a Toastmasters meeting. As Grammarian, you make note of any incorrect grammar used by any speakers. You function as a part of the meeting’s evaluation team and give a report at the end of the meeting of any incorrect and unique grammar used.
Being grammarian is truly an exercise in expanding your listening skills. It is a great opportunity to learn the names of your fellow toastmasters and to refresh your own knowledge of grammar.
Duties of the GrammarianEdit
- Chooses the Word of the Day. The Grammarian introduces the word of the day and its definition, using it in a sentence to help build our vocabularies. It is important that the grammarian learn to pronounce the word and practice the pronunciation prior to the meeting. If possible, pick a word that ties in with the theme for the meeting. People with speaking opportunities during the meeting are encouraged to use the Word of the Day in what they say. The grammarian can use the tally sheet (below) to track use of the Word of the day by speakers.
- Notes word or phrases that are not grammatically correct.
- Highlight inappropriate words or phrases cliches and over-used colloquialism.
- Identify words used with the wrong meaning or in the wrong context.
- Highlight exceptional word usage and phrasing.
Prior to the meetingEdit
- Choose a Word of the Day, if this is done in your club.
- Print the Word of the Day on a Sign (3 copies) for display during the meeting. Use letters large enough to be legible from the back of the room.
- Prepare a brief explanation of the duties of the grammarian, for the benefit of the guests.
- Obtain copy of agenda
- Obtain copy of member list
- Take note of visiting Toastmasters.
- Obtain Grammarian Tally Sheet (below)
During the MeetingEdit
- Present and Post the Word of the Day. Introduce and post the word of the day and its definition, using it in a sentence. Additional things to give: its correct pronunciation if necessary, its definition and origin, synonyms and antonyms.
- Explain the duties of the Grammarian. For example, you might say:
As Grammarian, I carefully observe the language used in the meeting: word choice, pronunciation, sentence structure, and particular phrases. I not only take note of improper language, but also exceptionally skillful usage. I am also responsible for selecting the word of the day, adding one more useful entry to your word hoard at each meeting.
- Track each member’s use of the Word of the Day during the meeting, noting those who used it correctly or incorrectly.
- Listen to everyone’s word usage. Write down any awkward use or misuse of the language (incomplete sentences, sentences that change direction in midstream, incorrect grammar, or malapropisms) with a note of who erred. For example, point out if someone used a singular verb with a plural subject. “One in five children wear glasses” should be “One in five children wears glasses.” Note when a pronoun is misused. “No one in the choir sings better than her” should be “No one in the choir sings better than she.”
At the end of the meetingEdit
- When called on by the general evaluator during the evaluation segment, stand by your chair and give your report. Try to offer the correct usage in every instance where there was misuse, instead of only explaining what was wrong. Report on creative language usage and announce who used the word of the day (or a derivative of it) correctly or incorrectly.