≡ Menu

What does the Grammarian do?

The main purpose of the Grammarian role is to encourage and commend good use of language by speakers and other meeting participants.

The main responsibilities of the Grammarian are:

  • To choose a Word of the Day and encourage all speakers to make use of it
  • Record any notable uses of language by speakers during the meeting itself and of the Word of the Day
  • Give a report when prompted by the Toastmaster
Why not download our pre-formatted Grammarian’s Record Form?

Prior to the meeting

Choose a Word of the Day

Make sure you choose a word that will help the members of the audience to enhance their everyday vocabulary, rather than picking a seldom-used, archaic or slang word.

Adjectives or adverbs are recommended since they are easier to incorporate into normal speech, but feel free to choose any type of word that you wish.

Prepare a short definition of the word, including one or two usage examples. Feel free to write these on a piece of card to read out during the meeting.

Print the word out in large letters on two separate pieces of paper. These should be big enough to read easily across a room.

Prepare your introduction

Practice your introduction to ensure that your are comfortable with explaining the role and introducing your chosen word of the day.

Keep an eye on the clock to make sure you can keep within the allotted time.

Upon arrival at the meeting

Display the Word of the Day

Stick one of the word of the day posters at the front of the room where it can be clearly seen by audience members and people coming up to speak.

Stick the other poster at the back of the room where it may be clearly seen by speakers.

During the meeting

Listen attentively and make notes

Listen for words or phrases which are particularly interesting, unusual or effective.

If you feel confident enough, look out for some common rhetorical devices, such as:

  • Anaphora – repetition of a word or words across two or more successive phrases, e.g. “There is a time for thinking. There is a time for speaking. And there is a time for action.”
  • Alliteration – using words starting with the same letter or sound together in a group, e.g. “totally tropical taste”
  • Simile/metaphor – saying one thing is like (simile) or literally is (metaphor) something else, e.g. “I was like a kid in a sweet shop” or “Public speaking was my Mount Everest”
  • Hyperbole (hy-per-bo-lee) – deliberate exaggeration for emphasis or humorous effect, e.g. “There must have been a million people in front of me in the queue”
Listen carefully to the speech evaluators and be sure not to duplicate any comments they might make about language.

Give your report

First, report on which participants used the Word of the Day and how many times. You do not need to say how the word was used.

Using your notes, highlight some of the most interesting examples of language which occurred during the meeting. Try to pick examples from a variety of speakers and from various different parts of the meeting.

Keep an eye on the time. When you see the amber light, choose one or two more short examples, then wrap up and hand back to the Toastmaster.

After the meeting

Write up the meeting report

Since the Grammarian makes detailed notes throughout the meeting, it makes sense for them to also write up the meeting report for the club website.

However, if this is to be done by someone else, make sure you hand over your notes to help them with their report.