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 n.— «The clearest example is ordinary politeness. When you are at a dinner party and want the salt, you don’t blurt out, “Gimme the salt.” Rather, you use what linguists call a whimperative, as in “Do you think you could pass the salt?” or “If you could pass the salt, that would be awesome.”» —“Words Don’t Mean What They Mean” by Steven Pinker Time Sept. 6, 2007. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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