As the Grammarian, you will select a “word of the day”, observe and note everyone’s grammar and lectern etiquette throughout the meeting, and deliver a 2-3 minute “grammarian report” in the Evaluation Session near the end of the meeting.
Before the Meeting:
It’s your responsibility to come up with the “word of the day”. Ideally it will be related to the week’s theme – and, if possible, you will enter it on Easyspeak at least a day before the meeting. The “word of the day” is intended to enrich the members’ vocabulary. Therefore, aim for a word that members may be less familiar to with but that will be easy enough for them to incorporate during the meeting. Print the word you’ve chosen on 3 or 4 large sheets of paper and post them so that the audience can read from anywhere in the room.
In the first part of the meeting:
You will be asked by the Chairperson to rise and explain your role as grammarian.
As grammarian, you have four distinct responsibilities:
- to observe the quality of language used during the meeting
- to watch for crutch words (like, so, you know…) and sounds (um, ah, er…)
- to keep an eye on lectern etiquette
- to introduce the “word of the day” (Explain the meaning of the word and give examples of its usage. Encourage everyone to use the word of the day and to “knock on a hard surface” when they hear someone else using it.)
Near the end of the meeting:
You will be invited to the front by the General Evaluator to give your 2-3 minute grammarian report.
What to include in the Grammarian Report:
- How many times was the Word of the Day used?
- How was the overall lectern etiquette during the meeting (did everyone shake hands with the person at the lectern before and after taking the floor? Did the audience applaud the upcoming speaker until he/she reached the front?)
- Commend speakers on creative and effective use of words/language and point out errors in vocabulary and grammar. There is no need to criticize obvious slips-of-the-tongue; mention only when a speaker has made a common error or one he/she might not be aware of. Instead of identifying the person, you can say “someone in the meeting said” or “I believe I heard…”
- Report how pause-fillers such as “um” and “ah” and other crutch words were used.
You’ll find you have more impact if you are positive and upbeat rather than picky and negative.
- When choosing the Word of the Day, it is preferable to choose a word that is not too uncommon or esoteric but also not overly familiar.
- Try to find a light-hearted way to let people know they’ve used pause-fillers a lot. Don’t make an extensive list of every single ‘ah and ‘um you’ve heard. Mention only excessive use, especially by more experienced members. Remember new speakers are nervous and may use pause-fillers more often.