Conductors seldom speak plainly for fear of sounding, well, plain.
In a rehearsal earlier this week, a conductor asked the viola section to play a passage again, "On the back of the beat." This didn't seem to work, so he implored them to play it "More restrained." Still without success, he tried saying, "More relaxed! Relax the tempo!" When this still didn't produce the desired results, the conductor looked from side to side to see if he was being watched, and then whispered to the violas, "VIOLAS. I want you to play it SLOWER."