Dictionary Johnson is a spit in the city of London and a character in the Stoneheart Trilogy. He is a real-life statue of the famous eighteenth century English writer Samuel Johnson, who wrote A Dictionary of the English Language.
Dictionary is described as a statue wearing eighteenth century clothes such as a frock coat and knee breeches. The wig on his head is coated in what George describes as "pigeon splat" and a bird is said to be roosting on top of his head. He has a lopsided face that apparently doesn't smile much, and he has a deep, rough voice that sounds a lot like a farmer's voice. Dictionary carries a thick book in his hand (which is an actual dictionary) that he uses to look up words in order to give people advice. He is also prone to random twitching and fidgeting spasms.
Dictionary acts and speaks in a formal manner. He is helpful by nature, but his extensive vocabulary proves to be a difficulty when it comes to understanding his advice. He does not like taints, and he may not like Frenchmen either. He is proud of his knowlege, and it is not beneath him to boast about it, but he does not do this in an arrogant way.
Role In PlotEdit
Dictionary is approached by the Gunner and George as they seek to interpret the word "shaveling." The word is a piece of the cryptic advice that the Sphinxes gave George and Edie. He helps the group by translating the word, identifying it as a synonym of "friar." This then results in George going to find the Black Friar for further advice; although he is very knowledgeable on English words and many events throughout history, Dictionary is unable to tell George what the Stone Heart actually is.
After the encounter with the Temple Bar Dragon, Dictionary helps by sending pigeon messages to other spits in the city. This informs the statues about George and Edie and tells them to protect the children. By doing this, the Gunner is able to return to his plinth to heal, knowing that George and Edie will be safe. The pigeon messages are what lead the Fusilier to find the children and save them from the Grid Man.
Dictionary is later approached by the Clocker, who wishes to find a way to help George and Edie. After revealing to the Clocker that the Gunner is missing, the two of them decide to work together on a pigeon message that will help the children in their journey.
- Dictionary may have a dislike for Frenchmen, or he at least believes that Englishmen are superior in intellect. The Gunner points out that Samuel Johnson was able to put together a full dictionary faster than a "roomful of Frenchies." The rivalry between Englishmen and Frenchmen was not unusual in the eighteenth century, which is probably why Dictionary thinks this way.