Questions regarding the associated or underlying meaning of a word, in addition to its primary definition

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Could you please do X vs. Could you do X please

I'm an English teacher, and I heard a student say "could you please open the window" the other day. To my ears, "could you please open the window" as a construction sounds exasperated, even ...
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In a professional environment, what is a preferable statement to: “I haven't had the time to do it”

Seeking a statement that is similar – or more precise – in meaning, but casts a less negative perception upon the speaker. Example: Employee A: 'What is the status on Project X?' Employee B: 'I ...