Monday, February 18, 2013

quicko: can?

One thing that particularly irks me, especially in England but also in Australia, is the use of pseudo questions.  Pseudo-questions aren't questions at all, but statements cleverly disguised with a "can" or other such modal at the beginning.  They lack, however, an actual question mark or any semblance of genuine interest in the response.  They may even have a beguiling "pls," but beware.  It is not an actual "please," but merely a vacuous attempt at the minimum standards of politeness.  The writer is already certain that you shall complete the dictated task, without waiting to find out if you're able, much less willing.  As in:

"Can you pls finish the report by Wed midday so as to present Thrs am."

Or, just as bad:

"Pls can you change the litter box tonight as I'm in Perth til Fri."

Generally speaking, they're the sort of things one could reasonably be expected to do, but one expects to be asked, not told.  Pls can you Australians stop telling me what to do.  Tks.

(SEE how rude?!  Gosh!  It's rubbing off on me, I'm sorry!)

1 comment:

Laetitia :-) said...

Why, of course we can...but probably won't. ;-)