For the longest time, I have been searching for a word to describe irrational demands. Any ideas?
closed as not a real question by Robert Cartaino♦ Nov 27 '11 at 22:43
It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, see the FAQ.
Some possibilities: pipe dream, "A plan, desire, or idea that will not likely work; a near impossibility"; whim, "fanciful impulse, or whimsical idea", where fanciful means "imaginative or fantastic; unreal or imagined" and meanings of whimsical include "capricious; odd; peculiar;"; and delusion, "A false belief that is resistant to confrontation with actual facts."
The first two of these (pipe dream and whim) are more like requests or wishes than they are demands; delusions, on the other hand, often have the force of demands, in that a delusional individual is likely to insist upon you, too, believing a lie.
Absurdities is another possibility, but like my other suggestions it represents the "irrational" aspect of requests more so than the "demand" aspect. For the latter aspect, try draconian, "highly strict". The excess associated with draconian measures (e.g., death penalty for minor offenses) lends it a sense of irrationality.
I'm not sure of a term that would work in every context. But to add to jwpat7's list, you could use red tape or bureaucracy for when the demand has no real justification, it's just there because it's there (or because it's a relic from an outdated process).