The Grammarian – or Wordsmith – has three duties which are:
- Report on the use of language throughout the meeting. Comment on the most interesting, unusual or effective uses of language and why they worked well
- Set a “word of the day” and report on its use. Chose a word you’d like people to use more but not one that is so obscure tricky to pronounce that it is difficult to use. An adjective or adverb often works as the word of the day (e.g. “active” “actively”) as these are easier to use than verbs or nouns (“act”/ “action”)
- You may also report on hesitations (UM’s and AH’s) without naming specific individuals
At the meeting
When you are introduced, explain the role of Grammarian and announce the “word of the day” giving its meaning and some examples of its use. To assist the audience, display the “word of the day” prominently wherever it will assist the audience and speakers to remember it.
Listen carefully to all of the speakers and report back with your findings and comments, when called upon towards the end of the meeting.
Here are some useful points:
- DO record several examples of effective language , but only choose and comment enthusiastically on a about 6 – 8 that you would like the audience to remember.
- Congratulate those who used the word of the day and identify any particularly good usage.
- Do NOT publicly identify any speaker for overuse of “um/ah” although you might like to have a quiet word in private with excessive offenders
This is an important role, providing an excellent opportunity to develop good listening skills and the ability to transmit information and praise.
As always be aware of how much time you have for your report. You will need to edit as there will be more you would like to say than you will have time for!
Straight after the meeting, please find out who the grammarian will be at the following meeting and talk to them about performing the role.