You help members improve their use of language
- To choose a Word of the Day (WoD)
- To record any notable uses of language and of the WoD
- To deliver the grammarian’s report
Before the meeting
- Choose WoD.
- Choose a WoD that people can easily weave into their talk – e.g. someone chose the word ‘frustrated’ once and it was fun for the speakers to use.
- Prepare a short definition of the word – include one or two usage examples.
- Print the word out in large letters on two separate pieces of A4 paper – make it big enough to read easily across the meeting room.
- Prepare your introduction – explain your role and introduce the WoD plus examples.
- Practice your introduction.
- Keep an eye on the clock – make sure you stay within the allotted time.
Upon arrival at the meeting
- Display the WoD.
- Stick the WoD papers in visible places – at the front and back of the room.
During the meeting
- Pay attention to the speakers.
- Note any good/fun use of English and of the WoD.
- Keep phrases short – you only have 3 minutes to deliver your report at the end of the evening.
- To make it easier for yourself, you could pick a theme around the English language – e.g. great examples of vivid imagery, use of onomatopoetic words, powerful rhetorical questions.
- You can also count up the number of times some speakers use ‘filler words’, e.g. umm, ahh, err. It can be very useful for speakers.
- Give your report.
- First, report on which participants used the WoD and how many times.
- You do not have to say how the WoD was used.
- Highlight some of the most interesting examples of language – pick examples from a variety of speakers and from various different parts of the meeting.
- Try to avoid a list of ‘‘speaker x said this, speaker y said that and speaker z said…’’
- Explain why something was a good use of language.
- Structuring your report around rhetorical devices (RDs) may help – e.g. ‘’we had some great examples of anaphora, as when speaker x said…’’
- Keep an eye on the time – when you see the amber light, choose one or two short examples, wrap up and hand back to the Toastmaster.
Note: The function of the Grammarian’s role is to note good English; it is not their role to comment on speakers, as that is the function of an evaluator.