(The Ask is an annoying business term and is just one of the 212 Most Annoying Business Phrases Managers Effuse, Confuse, and Overuse detailed in the hilarious must-have guide for every workplace: The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room. Available right now on Amazon.)
Almost no phrase in this book makes the pompous pricks at work sound more like pompous pricks than when they refer to a deadline or a request as the ask.
For example, “The ask was for all deliverables to be decided by Friday, so we could hit the ground running Monday morning.” (As you can tell, those who use the ask will invariably use additional annoying phrases in the same sentence to prove their pomposity.)
While the word “ask” can be considered an informal noun for the British (allowing you to put “the” in front of it, as one might when describing a noun), using the ask as some managers do today… in business… in America is reserved just for the too-cool-for-school crowd among us.
Not to pick on any one demographic, but we’ve never heard a Baby Boomer use this term; only Millennials.
Coincidence? Not likely. When you mean request, say request. When you mean deadline, say deadline.
For example, “The request was for all tasks to be decided by Friday, so the team is ready Monday morning.” Same meaning, less prickishness.
Replacement phrases: Request; Deadline
See also: Tear Down, The
The 30,000-Pound Gorilla in the Room is available on Amazon.