Posted in College


Our chapter of Toastmaster’s “President’s Award” – given for catching that people were using the word “Arise” instead of the word “Arouse” during the meeting and presenting the correct definition of the words.


Are you looking for a place where you can:

– Talk (and have people listen)
– Listen (to interesting things)
– Learn new words
– Correct people on their use of words without being called a Nazi

Then Toastmasters is for you!  I recently joined Toastmasters at work and it was a lot of fun.  The first meeting that I went to had one of the presenters giving a speech about a “Day in the Life of a Commercial.”  She talked about how she uses her phone as an alarm clock [AT&T – Your world, delivered.] Then she has to let her dogs out [The Humane Society – Celebrating animals, confronting cruelty.] Next, she makes a pot of coffee [Folgers – Good to the last drop!]… You get the idea.  Goodness, she was so animated as she was telling us about her day and she used the intonations of the actual commercials a lot of the time, too.  We were laughing so much when she talked about her heart burn medication [Side effects include: headache, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, confusion, lethargy, agitation, rash…]  Goodness, wouldn’t it be better to have heartburn?

Aside from some wonderful speeches, there are also other components of Toastmasters that appeal to me.  One of the things that I look forward to experiencing each time is the presentation by the Grammarian.

As the Grammarian, I will be listening for poor usage of grammar as well as exceptional instances of word and grammar usage.  I have chosen a “Word of the Day” which is ________.  (give word, what it means, and an example of how to use it in a sentence.)  I will listen for the proper usage of this word throughout each person’s speaking time.  I will give a report during the evaluation portion of the meeting.

As I learned about the role of Grammarian, I started thinking about all of the wonderful words that are out there that are not often used.  Defenestration.  Couched.  Cognizant. Untoward.  The challenge, of course, is that the word of the day should be able to be used and easily incorporated into a speech.  When my computer came up with yet another error, it was in danger of being defenestrated.  The IT crowed couched their response in technical jargon.  They should be cognizant of their audience and whether they are fluent in geek-speak.

I’d be an awesome (read: terrible) grammarian…

What are your favorite words?  How would you use them in a sentence (or two)?


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8 thoughts on “Toastmasters

  1. hmmm favourite words: sychophant, inimitable, fructify, curmudgeon, and i’m sure other ones that I come across. I just read an old english book that required a dictionary by the side. It was awesome!

    1. Lol! Brainfart definitely counts–there’s a definition for it and everything…

      “A brain fart (jocularly derived from “brainstorm”) is slang for a special kind of abnormal brain activity which results in human error while performing a repetitive task, or more generally denoting a degree of mental laxity or any task-related forgetfulness, such as forgetting how to hold a fork.” –

  2. I am also a Toastmasters member and we have so much intellectual fun, if I can say so!!!!
    I have never been a grammarian, this role is so difficult. At one of our last meetings we had the word – Assuage! 🙂

    1. Ooh! Assuage would be a difficult word to pronounce correctly for someone inexperienced with it. That is definitely not a word that I use frequently. Did anyone work it into their speeches? If so, how do you recall it being used the best?

      1. Yes, you are right! we had trouble pronouncing it 🙂 nonetheless, one of the speakers had used it something like this: I am assuage with my table topic speech, I did my best! not sure if this is the right use

      2. You are correct in feeling as if “assuage” may not have been used quite right in that example. I always think of assuage as a synonym of “to soothe” or to make better. When I look it up online, it says that to “assuage” is to make a bad feeling less intense (better) or to satisfy a craving. 🙂 Perhaps we should make it a word of the week and see if we can sneak it in elsewhere!

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