One benefit of Toastmasters is that it helps people improve their grammar and word usage. Being grammarian also provides an exercise in expanding listening skills. As Grammarian, you introduce new words to members, comment on language usage during the course of the meeting, and provide examples of eloquence.
Prior to Meeting Day
Several days prior to the meeting, contact the Toastmaster to communicate a complementary Word of the Day to the meeting theme. Consider developing a visual aid to increase memory of the word. Be prepared to define it and use it in a sentence at the beginning of the meeting.
Arrive by 6:45 and let the general evaluator know you are at the meeting and ready to fill your role. Get a copy of the Grammarian’s Log from the Sergeant at Arms. Place the visual aid at the front of the room. Throughout the meeting, note who uses it (or a derivative of it).
To streamline your process, consider writing as many speaker names and members with roles on your log as possible prior to the start of the meeting. As you are actively listening, highlight any creative or interesting words and phrases. Record any grammar issues:
- Awkward use or misuse of the English language:
- Incomplete sentences
- Incorrect grammar. Example: “One in five children wear glasses” should be “One in five children wears glasses.”
- Malapropisms (words that sound similar but have different meaning). Example: “It is beyond my apprehension." instead of “It is beyond my comprehension."
When called on by the General Evaluator, you have three minutes to give your report. Stand by your chair and If your role has not yet been explained, take 15-20 seconds to describe your responsibilities. Then based on the notes you took on your Grammarian Log, give your report.
Try to offer the correct usage in every instance of misuse (instead of merely announcing that something was wrong). Of course, highlight who used the Word of the Day any creative language.