The Grammarians are Laurel and Daphne Wolfe, identical, inseparable twins who share an obsession with words. They speak a secret "twin" tongue of their own as toddlers; as adults, their verbal infatuation continues, but this love, which has always bound them together, begins to push them apart. Daphne, a grammar columnist, devotes herself to preserving the dignity and elegance of Standard English. Laurel, a poet, is drawn, instead, to the polymorphous nature of the written and spoken word. Their twinship finally shreds completely when the sisters go to war over custody of their prized family heirloom: Merriam Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition.