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I'm wondering about the rudeness of the imperative mood, particularly in a professional context. I recently wrote these 2 sentences:

"Please consider doing 2 tickets when you have 2 different issues."

"Please stop entering multiple problems in a single ticket. This is problematic for follow-up and resolution." (as an escalation because the first demand had resulted in no change)

They have been judged as extremely rude and impolite by my co-workers. I won't use this structure anymore in this particular context. But since this is a structure I have been using for years I would like to know how rude this construction is. Can it be used in formal and professional context or should it be restricted to familiar style ?

As none of me or my co-workers are native speakers, I'm interested in gathering the opinion of experts on this structure.

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    There is nothing rude about your second construction, which seems completely appropriate to me (native British English), given what you are trying to achieve. Neither is the first construction rude, but it is less likely to achieve what you want because the meaning of "consider" allows the reader an optional response. – Marv Mills Dec 17 '15 at 13:35
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    I suspect that your co-workers just don't want to be bothered filling out multiple tickets. – Steven Littman Dec 17 '15 at 15:49
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I admit this is a personal opinion, but I think it'll be shared by many. Contrast...

1: Please stop [doing whatever is causing problems]
2: Please avoid [doing that]

Where #1 is inherently critical (it implicitly accuses the addressee of doing something considered undesirable). But #2 carries no such implication - it's a simple polite request.


It's worth noting that although the relevant ELU Help page doesn't go so far as to include please, we do currently have...

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where [any of these undesirable features occur].

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A more polite version might read as follows:

"Please use two tickets when you have two different issues, as it will help us to resolve both issues more quickly. Our goal is to resolve your issues to your satisfaction as quickly as we can."

Then, failing that, you might say the following:

"Please do not continue to use a single ticket for multiple issues, as it slows down our ability to resolve each of your issues in a timely manner. Our goal is to resolve your issues to your satisfaction as quickly as we can."

The point is to make sure your customers understand that the purpose of asking them to change their behavior is so that you can do a better job of serving or helping them with their needs.

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