For example if you were on an airplane and somebody was kicking the back of your seat, you might say to your companion "Please stop kicking my seat", when what you actually mean is "It's annoying that the person behind me is kicking the back of my seat"

  • 4
    – Gerger
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 16:15
  • Are you really asking about this, or are you asking about saying to your companion "I do wish the person behind me would stop kicking my seat" (loud enough for them to overhear) when you might usefully tell that person directly? I can't imagine asking my companion to stop kicking my seat when they're not.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 16:24
  • I think OP is asking about saying it as a kind of prayer addressed to nobody in particular, but loud enough that their companion can hear and knows of OP's plight.
    – Gerger
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 16:32
  • See this scene from La Femme du Boulanger, between 3min04sec to 6min04sec, for a fabulous example of this (in French). The baker scolds the cat for straying, in front of his wife who is the real, indirect target.
    – Drew
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 16:40
  • Allusion comes close. I would say to my seat-mate: "There seems to be some major turbulence around my seat."
    – ScotM
    Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 17:11

1 Answer 1



You are giving the offending person an opportunity to save face.

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