Grammarian, AH / UM Counter and Etiquette watcher

As Grammarian you observe the quality of language used during the meeting, watch for crutch words, and keep a careful eye on lectern etiquette.


  1. To choose a “Word of the Week” before the meeting. The “Word of the Week” is a word intended to be used by participants throughout the meeting. Print the word you’ve chosen on a large sheet of paper so that the audience can read from anywhere in the room. Be prepared to explain the meaning of the word and give an example of its usage.
  2. To rise and explain your function. Also to introduce the Word of the Week early in the meeting. Try to keep your comments brief (under 1 minute).
  3. To commend Speakers on creative and effective use of words and to point out errors in vocabulary and grammar. There is no need to criticize obvious slips-of-the-tongue; mention only when the Speaker makes common errors. Instead of identifying the person, simply state that “someone in the meeting said” or “I believe I heard…”
  4. To monitor how often people use pause-fillers such as “um” and “ah” and other crutch words.
  5. To monitor lectern etiquette
  6. To deliver a report during the General Evaluation session. You’ll find you have more impact if you are positive and up-beat rather than picky and negative.


  • When choosing the Word of the Week, it is preferable to choose a word that is not too uncommon or esoteric and has a few alternative meanings. For example, “progress” can be used as a verb, a noun, an adjective “progressive”, and even another noun “progression.”
  • Be careful of criticizing participants who speak English as a second language. You may mention words or expressions that could be confused with something else, but show some sensitivity. NEVER say or imply that a Speaker has a problem because English is not his/her mother tongue. Such a reference may be viewed as a put-down.
  • 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.