I am around a group of people who, for whatever reason, have developed the habit of talking odd tenses. I'm no English or grammar expert but here is what I mean.
Instead of saying "Can I borrow your car?", they might say " I was wondering if I could borrow your car." Or, instead of "Is the mechanic's name Robert?", they might say "I am wondering if the mechanic's name is Robert."
These aren't great examples but the bottom line is, when I talk to these people, I often feel manipulated or that they are generally manipulative in the language use.
Does any of this make sense? Is it perhaps recognized as a topic of study I could research? Say, "How people use the continuous aspect in manipulative conversation" or something like that.
If this makes absolutely no sense to anyone, feel free to heckle...
****Many thanks to all who gave an answer to this. My examples weren't the best but I think what you have shown me is that the people around me choose to speak in a very passive voice. I think they "hedge" a lot more than people in other peer groups. However, the feeling of manipulation comes from the expectation that I will measure up to certain norms of "nicety" or "niceness" (sorry, I don't know the right word) because they were so nice and passive they way they asked. This may not make any more sense than my first post but thanks! I appreciate your love for language.