Being the Grammarian is truly an exercise in developing your listening skills. You have two basic responsibilities:
- Introduce the Word of the Day at the beginning of the meeting (usually with a definition and examples of common usage). At our club, we acknowledge attendees’ use of the word by rapping lightly on the table.
- Comment on the use of English during the course of the meeting. This includes commenting on good and bad grammar. Make recommendations when it is poor, and also highlight colorful, eloquent or exceptional usage.
Prior to the meeting
- Select a ‘Word of the Day’. It should be a word that increases our vocabulary, a word that can be incorporated easily into everyday conversation, but which is different from the way we usually express ourselves. An adjective or adverb is generally advisable, since they are more adaptable than nouns or verbs, but feel free to select your own special word.
- In letters large enough to see from the back of the room, print or write your word on the flipchart along with a brief definition. Prepare at least one sentence as an example of how to use your word.
- Ask the General Evaluator (GE) if you should explain your role alongside your introduction of the word of the day in the beginning of the meeting. Prepare your role description, if so.
Upon arrival at the meeting
- Place the flipchart at the front of the room where it can be seen by all.
During the meeting
- When introduced, announce the ‘Word of the Day’, state its part of speech (noun, etc), define it, use it in a sentence, and request that anyone speaking during any part of the meeting use it.
- Briefly explain the role of the Grammarian if agreed to beforehand with the General Evaluator.
- Throughout the meeting, listen to everyone’s word usage. Note any awkward deployment or misuse of the language (incomplete sentences, sentences that change direction mid-stream, incorrect grammar, malapropisms, tautology, etc). Write down who used the Word of the Day (or a derivative of it), noting those who used it correctly or incorrectly.
- When called on by the General Evaluator during the evaluation segment, take the stage and give your report. Try to offer the correct usage in every instance where there was a misuse, rather than merely listing errors. Report on creative language usage and announce who used the Word of the Day (or a derivative of it) correctly or incorrectly
- Please also acknowledge good use of the English language.