Do not “make the ask.” Just ask.

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23 Responses to Do not “make the ask.” Just ask.

  1. Svenn Diagram says:

    “Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle”
    Richard II, Shakespeare

    Antimeria has been around for a long time. It is one of the ways language evolves.

    • Elisa says:

      And people are now using it, not to specify, but to sound emptily professional and say less with more words. “Evolution” isn’t a win-all argument for “good”.

    • Ginnie says:

      Had to look up antimeria. Didn’t know such a word existed!

  2. DataJack says:

    You are spot on with this one, spot on.

  3. papercup mixmaster says:

    I tend to agree with Svenn, but something about the businessy use of the practice makes my skin crawl. And “ask” is totally the worst offender. The first time I was told about “making an ask” I about fell over. “Do what? Do you mean a request? Would you like me to make a request?” What really threw me, is that allegedly, somewhere deep in the businessmind, there actually is a difference between an “ask” and a request.

    • Sarah Harris says:

      For sure – requesting is far more professional than asking

    • There is no difference between ask and request, mixmaster.

      What has happened here is a desperate attempt to enlarge the average businessman’s lexicon of 25-50 words by (as Svenn notes) anthimeric means.

  4. fireflight says:

    Here’s one from a recent email from our regional manager:
    “Stay focus and achieve excellence.”

  5. pat says:

    My current peeve is “gift” as verb. It’s not specifically business-speak, just horrible use of a perfectly good noun. What’s wrong with the verb “give”?

    • Sarah Harris says:

      Not for profit organizations tend to use gift as a verb in their fundraising communication. Does it sound nicer and more polite than ‘give’??

    • bs says:

      I agree so much it hurts.

      However, “gift” as a verb leads to hilarious amphibolic results. For example I once overheard a woman talking about how her daughter had been unexpectedly “gifted” by a friend, and now she didn’t know what to do. Raise an Amber alert, I imagine?–No one should be giving your kid away!

  6. Anonymous says:

    What gets me is that now people are using the phrase “Thank You much” instead of “Thank You very much” or just “Thank You.” It just sounds so wrong and annoys me every time I hear it.

  7. Sarah Harris says:

    It just sounds lazy – they’re obviously so appreciative that they can’t put the effort into a complete sentence.

  8. Don Davenport says:

    This says it all ( From Calvin and Hobbes:

    Calvin: I like to verb words.
    Hobbes: What?
    Calvin: I take nouns and adjectives and use them as verbs. Remember when “access” was a thing? Now it’s something you do. It got verbed. . . . Verbing weirds language.
    Hobbes: Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding.
    (Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes)

  9. Paul says:

    The point made here is really “key”.

  10. Neal Whitman says:

    “Thank you much” IS a complete sentence, at least if you accept “Thank you” as a complete (albeit noncanonical) sentence in the first place. If you object to “much” instead of “very much”, note that it appears alone in questions and negative sentences, e.g. “he doesn’t talk much”, “Does he talk much?” If you’re objecting to the use of plain “much” outside these “negative polarity contexts”, that’s a different matter, because that does sound odd in present-day English.

    • guest says:

      are you suggesting then that there is such a thing like ‘thank you much?’

      • Neal Whitman says:

        According to Anonymous, there is! I Googled it, and confirmed.

        Main point is that if “Thank you” is OK, then so is “Thank you” modified by adverbs; e.g. “Thank you kindly.” The only reason “Thank you much” wouldn’t be grammatical is if “much” has now completely turned into a negative polarity item, suitable only for negatives, questions, and a few other things.

  11. MH says:

    The real irony, of course, is that the word “speak” is both a noun and a verb.

  12. Ethan says:

    Great solve, Jessica. I double click that. Thanks for reaching out. I’ll cascade this down.

  13. Pingback: Anti-antimeria « Rage on Omnipotent

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