Is it just me or many of you find the use of abbreviation “ASAP” in regular one-on-one communication, either written or verbal, slightly rude? (ASAP is an abbreviation used for “as soon as possible”)

I have seen this getting used a lot in corporate world. I somehow could never understand the need for this abbreviation. I can understand is associated savings in the SMS world. But the use of it in day-to-day communication or emails is beyond my apprehension.

To prove my point about ASAP sounding slightly rude – here is a test I would like all of you to run on yourself. Read the three sentences listed below aloud (also if possible imagine that someone else is communicating this question to you). See if you can bring out the emotions as conveyed by each of the sentence. For example – words in CAPS assumes that you would be putting more stress on those words. Let me know what kind of feeling you get after reading each sentence –

  1. Can you do this as soon as possible?
  2. Can you do this AS SOON AS POSSIBLE?
  3. Can you do this ASAP?

When I ran this test on myself, here is the feeling I got. Number 1 sounded like a normal conversation sentence or request to me. In the second sentence – while it was a request, I felt that there was also this tinge feeling that things are not at the same wavelength between the sender and the receiver. In third, I felt that it conveyed an outright order to do it or there was also a feeling of superlativeness getting involved from sender’s side.

So unless and until the intention is to communicate the feelings involved in Sentence 2 and 3 very clearly to the receiver, why use the abbreviation ‘ASAP’!

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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One Response to “ASAP”

  1. Dinesh Rathi Says:

    Yes, I do agree with you. This (ASAP) and many other abbreviations people use these days annoys me. Example – DAT for THAT, DER for THERE, V for WE etc. Having worked as a tutor to grade 10 students, I have seen the usage of such abbreviations in their essay writing, notes and I cannot stress enough how improper I find it. I do not like such usage even while typing a text message on the cell phone unless sometimes you have to put limit to the characters. Abbreviations like V for WE and DAT for THAT hardly saves you any time or typing pain. Moreover, it is so very painful to see that this is being used more and more in official writings, web publishing etc.

    On a side note – do you know what is fear of long words called? Its ‘Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia’

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