You are politely requested to read this post thanksThe sign in the toilet says "please use the button to flush thanks",
which seems rather passive-aggressive once you get past the natural
reading that you should somehow flush thanks when you receive them.
This is what you might call a polite order, although it is not
actually all that polite. Were you to write "Please use the button to
flush", this would simply be a politer version of "Use the button to
flush", which is simply an instruction for those who may not otherwise
be able to figure out either what the button is for or whether it's
for constant use or just for the cleaning staff or whatever.
I dislike passive-aggressive signs. "Thank you for not smoking" is
grossly offensive. The "thank you" is fake courteous, which is at the
other end of the courtesy scale to really being courteous. It means
"Don't smoke", not even "Please don't smoke", which would seem to
offer you the option.
I believe this kind of sign was invented to avoid the awkwardness of
the passive voice in signs like "Smoking is forbidden". Who forbids
it? is the question that springs to mind. One is led to believe that
God himself made it a commandment. Indeed, I believe the world would
be a slightly better place if it read "We forbid you from smoking" or,
should it be in a train station "Q Rail forbids you from smoking", or
"This hospital forbids you from smoking". Or just "No smoking" or
"Don't smoke here".
There's worse: the passive-aggressive command with passive voice.
"Patrons are reminded that the use of mobile phones during a
performance is forbidden." This is as bad as English gets while still
being recognisably English. If I knew you forbade using a mobile
phone, I won't have forgotten. If I didn't, you need to forbid me more
"Please don't use your mobile phone during the film."
"Hawthorne Cinema forbids you from using your mobile phone during the film."
Although the latter is on the face of it discourteous, I contend that
it is politer than the version the cinema prefers.
Note that in my version I have preferred using a verb or a verbal noun
over the construction "the x of". Do this where the terms are
equivalent. ("The end of Rome's hegemony..." and "Ending Rome's
hegemony..." are not equivalents. I will write a post explaining why
at some point.) It will improve your writing probably as much as any
other thing you can do.