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‘All dark,’ Dudley said hoarsely, shuddering. ‘Everything dark. And then I h-heard ... things. Inside m-my head...’

Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia exchanged looks of utter horror. If their least favourite thing in the world was magic, closely followed by neighbours who cheated more than they did on the hosepipe ban, people who heard voices were definitely in the bottom ten. They obviously thought Dudley was losing his mind.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

As I understand, "people who heard voices were definitely in the bottom ten" is saying that Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia disliked people who heard voices(because it's in the bottom ten of their favourite list). But I'm not sure how it's relevant to the context. Maybe, they thought Dudley was losing his mind because he heard voices? What's the sense of it here?

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    It seems you're asking why people who hear voices are in the bottom ten of their least favorite things list. That's not a question about English. The collocation "hearing voices" in the non-magic world is often a symptom of schizophrenia. Hence "they obviously thought Dudley was losing his mind", that is, "going crazy" (colloquial) or having a psychotic episode. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 6 at 9:24
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    See also "seeing things", that is, hallucinating. They're not fond of "crazy people" or "crazies" (colloquial), formally, "the mentally ill". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 6 at 9:30
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo, Why does "hearing voices" is a symptom of schizophrenia? I think this is the main point confuses me? Another thing is what "hear voices are in the bottom ten of their least favorite things list" means? is it "hear voices" is their favorite thing? – dan Jan 6 at 10:21
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    Perhaps it is a list of things that one can have a liking for or a disliking for, like a number line which includes negative numbers or a thermometer which goes below zero degrees. Their favorite things would be at the top, their least favorite at the bottom. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 6 at 11:07
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    But he heard things "inside [his] head" and they thought he was "losing his mind". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 6 at 12:18
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The phrase people who heard voices were definitely in the bottom ten is explaining why Vernon and Petunia were so horrified at Dudley's statement. It is telling us that they had very strong feelings against people who hear voices in their heads. Then it clarifies that people hearing voices in their heads is not quite the worst thing in their opinion. They despise even more neighbors who cheat more than them, and the thing they most despise is magic.

Since we have now listed two things that are worse than people hearing voices in their heads, a further clarification is given to tell us that though there might be a few things worse than this, there are not that many things worse than this. People hearing voices in their heads is definitely one of the ten worst things in the Dursleys' opinion. That means that it is not the worst thing, and it is not the second-to-worst thing, but it is somewhere in the range of the third-to-worst thing to the tenth-to-worst thing, and we don't know enough about them to give a more precise determination.

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