Words have power. We all know this. I think there was even a day devoted to it in some class or other.
What some of you seem to have forgotten is that a words power depends on two things: the belief of the speaker, and the belief of the person hearing it. You've also forgotten that almost everything that can be done with an incantation can be done without one. If you think a gagged opponent is harmless, then you've just given him the advantage.
Let's talk about me: these days I call Lord Voldemort "the Dark Lord" out of habit. However, as a child I never said his name and cringed every time someone else said it, because I truly believed that it would draw his attention. Whether it was true or not, the belief gave his name power. And he used that power against us.
I'm sure everyone at Hogwarts has heard the story of the first time Draco called Granger a certain name. Many of you were even there, so correct me if I've got this wrong, but rumour had it that the Weasel lost his temper and tried to hex Draco. Granger, didn't react at all. To the Weasel that word had power and could hurt. To Granger it had none, and did nothing.
You all know how it pains me to praise Granger, but I feel this needs being brought to attention: At twelve, Granger behaved with more grace and intelligence that certain adults we all know have behaved recently.
I was not laughing at your pain. I find it ridiculous, not funny.
I did, however, find it funny when the Scrub and the Little Bouncy Man covered these pages in the sort of language that I am sure most of you assumed you'd never hear from anyone but Draco, Blaise or I.