My colleague will indirectly ask me to do something by using a statement Eg. John needs a form = can you print me a form to fill out on behalf of John. Her tone of voice does not indicate it's a request but she stares waiting for me to do it. I need to put a name to this annoyance. Thanks!

Edit: I am ideally looking for a pejorative adjective as a name/definition.

Here is another example: "We've ran out of microbrushes in here" = Please can you get me some more microbrushes A small request but the statements are quite abrupt and used instead of a question.

Here is another non workplace example: Someone may say "This man has just collapsed" but everyone takes this statement as a direction to help the man Eg. "Please help this man he has collapsed"

(This is my first time using this app thank you for everyone's patience!)

  • She could be Russian, I'm not kidding. Russians tend to be very matter-of-fact. Diplomacy, run-of-the-mill politeness (for want of a better word) and tact are practically foreign concepts. – Mari-Lou A Jan 5 '18 at 11:48
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    It depends on who you're going to share this word with...if it's with the offender, I'd go for something that's carefully couched with respectful deference, such as "Milly, would you mind asking me for something in the future? I'm not always clear that your statements are actually requests. Thanks!" Or if it's to bitch about her to your friends, I might say, "Milly comes off as the high, supreme ruler of the universe who's every utterance must be taken as a command!" Good luck with that! :-) – Kristina Lopez Jan 5 '18 at 16:37
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    In that case, I'd say she is acting "bossy". Bossy is defined by Google as: "fond of giving people orders; domineering. Synonyms: domineering, pushy, overbearing, imperious, officious, high-handed, authoritarian, dictatorial, controlling" – Kristina Lopez Jan 5 '18 at 17:30
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    I think @Kristina has come up with the best word - "bossy". More formally I'd say she had an "imperious" manner. However, contrary to what you say I note that her requests are posed as questions, and in one instance you do quote her as saying "please". However I am aware that even the most technically polite language can come across as offensive and overbearing if the tone is not right. – WS2 Jan 5 '18 at 17:48
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    In your non-workplace example, you can only assume that the person saying "This man has collapsed" is actually asking for someone to do something. I think there's an assumption that someone will do something but I'd call this behavior differently than the workplace example. In this case, the person is hoping someone will help but is not actually asking for help due to panic? shock? too shy to ask something of strangers? They're actually quite different situations, IMO. – Kristina Lopez Jan 5 '18 at 17:59

In Spanish there is a grammatical concept, called an indirect command, for statements that are:

"a wish or hope that something will happen or that someone will do something"

While English doesn't have a specific syntax for an indirect command (most of this would be communicated through inflection or body language), I'd argue that the same definition for the Spanish concept works here.

If you are looking for an adjective that describes this behavior, I'd use bumptious.

"presumptuously, obtusely, and often noisily self-assertive"

  • That is exactly what I needed! Thank you very much – user274820 Jan 5 '18 at 18:56

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