London Cardinals Speech Mark

Top 10 Tips for the Grammarian

Posted by | May 31st, 2011 | Leave a comment

By Gilly Cutts, Past President 2010-2011

  1. The Grammarian is an important role and provides an excellent opportunity to speak and develop listening skills.
  2. When introduced by the Toastmaster, explain that your role has two functions. Firstly, to listen to the use of language during the meeting and to report on particularly interesting, unusual or effective uses of language. i.e. alliteration, hyperbole, etc.
  3. Secondly to set a “word of the day” and encourage everyone to use it when they speak. Ideally, you should choose a word that speakers can easily weave into their talk and one that is easy to use, preferably an adjective. Give its meaning and some examples of its use.
  4. Write the word out twice in large letters and place one at the front of the room and the other at the back as a reminder to every speaker when they face the audience.
  5. Listen carefully to all the speakers and when called on by the   Toastmaster towards the end of the meeting, report back with your findings and comments.
  6. Note any good/fun use of English and the Word of the Day. The best way to do this is to note down something good that everyone has said. However, you will need to keep the quotes very short as you only have 3 minutes to deliver your report. With 13 people on the programme and upwards of 10 topics, you may have copious notes by the end of the meeting!
  7. Before you are called back to give your report it can be helpful to use a highlighting pen to pick out the gems you wish to speak of rather than try and get through all your comments, with the risk of running out of time.
  8. The function of the Grammarian is to note good and bad English. It is not their role to comment on delivery, as that is the function of the evaluators.
  9. Take care not to exceed the time allowed.
  10. Have fun!