History Main / WordsDoNotMakeTheMagic

16th Mar '17 7:32:33 AM Couran
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** The reason Wizards use dead languages and nonsense words for their spells is that the incantation becomes linked with the spell in their mind, so if they use a word from a language they speak regularly, they could burn their house down whenever they say "fire."

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** The reason Wizards use dead languages and nonsense words for their spells is that the incantation becomes linked with the spell in their mind, so if they use a word from a language they speak regularly, due to the mental equivelant of muscle memory they could burn their house down whenever they say "fire."
11th Jan '17 6:39:42 AM Rhodes7
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Comicbook/TheTombOfDracula'' establishes early and often that just waving a cross or other holy symbol at Dracula doesn't help, you have to really [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve believe]] to ward him off that way.
7th Dec '16 12:35:31 PM intastiel
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* In ''Literature/TheBelgariad'', sorcery is powered and directed by the sorcerer's will: the spoken "spell" that causes the effects to manifest can be anything. TheArchmage Belgarath uses mystical-sounding triggers and once scolds Garion as unprofessional for directing his sorcery with silly words like "Push!"
29th Oct '16 6:24:15 PM nombretomado
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* In HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality, Harry assumes this is the case:

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* In HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality, ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', Harry assumes this is the case:
10th Oct '16 3:59:55 PM DastardlyDemolition
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* The Thu'um in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim''. It is possible for ordinary mortals to learn it, though it takes a lifetime of training and effort to master it. Anyone without that training would not be able to make the Shouts do anything. The Dragonborn can take shortcuts because he/she has the soul of a Dragon, and even the Dragonborn has to study the words of power and absorb the souls of other Dragons first.

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* The Thu'um in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim''. It is possible for ordinary mortals to learn it, though it takes a lifetime of training and effort to master it. Anyone without that training would not be able to make the Shouts do anything. The Dragonborn can take shortcuts because he/she has the soul of a Dragon, and even the Dragonborn has to study the words of power and absorb the souls of other Dragons first. Ulfric Stormcloak himself was taught by the Greybeards to learn the ways of the Thu'um but used what he knew (the Unrelenting Force shout) to assert himself as the "true" High King of Skyrim and reestablish Skyrim as independent from Imperial puppet kings. The thing about Dragon Shouts is you have to understand deeply on what they mean, not just the translation but the real very essence of the word.
28th Sep '16 10:40:42 PM CurledUpWithDakka
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* In ''Literature/{{Ra}}'', it's not enough to speak a spell. The mage must think through and understand it as well. #

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* In ''Literature/{{Ra}}'', it's not enough to speak a spell. The mage must think through and understand it as well. #
29th Aug '16 1:46:36 PM Morgenthaler
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* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "[[Recap/SupernaturalS05E07TheCuriousCaseOfDeanWinchester The Curious Case Of Dean Winchester]]", the Winchesters run into an Irish warlock called Patrick who takes years from people's lives with a deck of enchanted magic cards, and uses it to [[LifeDrinker extend his own life indefinately]] [[spoiler:and that of his lover.]] When Dean loses 50 years in a gamble, he tries to reverse the process by breaking into Patrick's safe and stealing the cards. The warlock interrupts them and tells them not to bother.

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* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode "[[Recap/SupernaturalS05E07TheCuriousCaseOfDeanWinchester The Curious Case Of Dean Winchester]]", the Winchesters run into an Irish warlock called Patrick who takes years from people's lives with a deck of enchanted magic cards, and uses it to [[LifeDrinker extend his own life indefinately]] [[spoiler:and that of his lover.]] indefinitely]]. When Dean loses 50 years in a gamble, he tries to reverse the process by breaking into Patrick's safe and stealing the cards. The warlock interrupts them and tells them not to bother.
7th Aug '16 6:14:58 PM nombretomado
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* In TheDCU, Johnny Quick's sidekick Tubby Watts tried reciting Johnny's [[FormulaicMagic magical formula]] of [[EEqualsMCHAmmer ("3X2(9YZ)4A")]] [[note]]It is a nonsense formula, do not bother searching for it.[[/note]] in order to give himself SuperSpeed like Johnny's. It failed. A later {{Retcon}} established that the 'formula' was actually a personal mantra that would only work for Johnny (and eventually his daughter).

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* In TheDCU, Franchise/TheDCU, Johnny Quick's sidekick Tubby Watts tried reciting Johnny's [[FormulaicMagic magical formula]] of [[EEqualsMCHAmmer ("3X2(9YZ)4A")]] [[note]]It is a nonsense formula, do not bother searching for it.[[/note]] in order to give himself SuperSpeed like Johnny's. It failed. A later {{Retcon}} established that the 'formula' was actually a personal mantra that would only work for Johnny (and eventually his daughter).
5th Aug '16 12:22:14 PM Morgenthaler
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* Parodied in [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3#comic this]] SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal comic.

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* Parodied in [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3#comic this]] SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' comic.
25th Jul '16 1:28:05 AM Chabal2
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* ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks'', the [[ConArtist man]] who [[AchievementsInIgnorance invented the spells from what he thought was a nonsense book]] could not use them, but [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Angela]] [[Film/NannyMcPhee Lans]][[Series/MurderSheWrote bury's]] character, Miss Eglantine Price, could because she actually believed in magic. It took a great deal of concentration before he could finally get one to work after being shown numerous times that magic existed.
** Later, Angela Landsbury gets a hold of the magic words on the [=MacGuffin=] that she had been searching for throughout the film...and they do not work. The man then explains that ''none'' of the magic words she had been using for her spells were the "real" words or preparations; he had found them, but spiced them up a bit before selling them on. He suggests she tries the same (read: they all sing a song)- and it works.

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* ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks'', the [[ConArtist man]] who [[AchievementsInIgnorance invented the spells from what he thought was a nonsense book]] could not use them, but [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast Angela]] [[Film/NannyMcPhee Lans]][[Series/MurderSheWrote bury's]] character, Miss Eglantine Price, could because she actually believed in magic. It took a great deal of concentration (and telling his reflection to believe in something for once in his life) before he could finally get one to work after being shown numerous times that magic existed.
** Later, Angela Landsbury Miss Price gets a hold of the magic words on the [=MacGuffin=] that she had been searching for throughout the film...and they do not work. The man then explains that ''none'' of the magic words she had been using for her spells were the "real" words or preparations; he had found them, but spiced them up a bit before selling them on. He suggests she tries the same (read: they all sing a song)- and it works.



** Same thing in ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'' as the names of instruments of demon summoning are immaterial as long as the general sound and intent is there.

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** Same thing in ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'' as the names of instruments of demon summoning are immaterial as long as the general sound and intent is there. Turns out a big copper ladle is quite useful for bopping an uncooperative demon.
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