Before the Meeting
One benefit of Toastmasters is that it helps people
improve their grammar and word use. Being grammarian also
provides an exercise in expanding listening skills. You have
several responsibilities: to introduce new words to members,
to comment on language usage during the course of the
meeting, and to provide examples of eloquence.
Several days before the meeting,
word of the day (if this is done in your club):
- It should be one that will
help members increase their vocabulary – a word that can
be incorporated easily into everyday conversation but is
different from the way people usually express
- Adjectives and adverbs are
more adaptable than nouns or verbs, but feel free to
select your own special word.
- Print your word, its part
of speech (adjective, adverb, noun, verb) and a brief
definition in letters large enough to be seen from the
back of the room.
- Prepare a sentence showing
how the word is used.
Also, prepare a brief
explanation of the duties of the grammarian for the benefit
of the guests.
Before the meeting begins, place your visual aid at the
front of the room where everyone can see it. Also get a
blank piece of paper and pen ready to make notes, or get a
copy of the grammarian’s log, if your club has one, from the
sergeant at arms.
- Announce the word of the
day, state its part of speech, define it, use it in a
sentence and ask that anyone speaking during any part of
the meeting use it.
- Briefly explain the role
of the grammarian.
Throughout the meeting, 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.”
Write down who used the word of
the day (or a derivative of it) and note those who used it
correctly or incorrectly.
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 of misuse (instead of merely
announcing that something was wrong).
- Report on creative
language usage and announce who used the word of the day
(or a derivative of it) correctly or incorrectly.
After the meeting, give your
completed report to the treasurer for collection of fines,
if your club does this
Click here for word of the day and dictionary: