Updated February 10, 2023
ASAP (As Soon As Possible)
ASAP, curated from its full form – as soon as possible is an acronym that is being quite frequently tossed around in digital conversations. Whether a business email from your boss or a request from a senior, it tops the list. But did you know US Military started ASAP to give urgent requests on radio conversations? So, let’s decode everything about ASAP and its alternatives.
What does ASAP Means?
It is an abbreviation or acronym for ‘as soon as possible.’ The sender usually sends this to convey something to be done to the receiver urgently.
Ex: Submit the report to the manager ASAP.
What is an Acronym?
An acronym is an abbreviation formed by using the initial letters of a phrase to articulate a pronounceable word.
How to Pronounce ASAP?
Different people pronounce it differently. Since it is an initialism, one can pronounce it by spelling its letters.
Secondly, one can also pronounce it collectively as an acronym (word). While both ways are correct, pronouncing it as an abbreviation sounds more natural.
How ASAP Came into Existence?
Acronyms come in handy when conveying a message in the shortest format possible. Such a profession demands the usage of abbreviations over long-distance radio conversations. Most acronyms, including ASAP, are of military origin.
Its first use in the fine print was in Captain Thompson’s account of the Korean War, The Greatest Airlift, 1954.
Which Countries Use ASAP?
Today, it is a common phenomenon in all business writings and mundane requests across the globe.
If one hears an Italian say ‘asap-pa’ or a French as ‘ah-zap,’ they mean to do that ASAP- as soon as possible!
Is ASAP Formal or Informal?
Using acronyms like ASAP and FYI (For Your Information) is an informal practice. However, one can spot them today in plenty of company emails. It is because an employer intends to write a message that is both quick to read and type.
How to Write ASAP?
One generally spells all acronyms, including ASAP, in capital letters, though usage of ‘asap,’ i.e., in lower case, is also common.
Is ASAP Inappropriate to Use?
One may wonder how this term frequently tossed around as a ‘reminder of urgency’ can be inappropriate. However, it is plausible. Let’s track down why and when to use its alternatives.
While it can deliver a sense of urgency, it fails to specify by ‘how much.’ Something ‘soon’ is a subjective term perceived differently.
It Comes Across as Pushy
Quoting something as ‘the most important’ may not sound credible if one sends dozens of emails with an ASAP. It not just loses credibility but puts stress on the receiver. So, how to communicate a sense of urgency? After all, one cannot assign work and expect the assignee to know on their own that it is an urgent affair!
1. Give an Exact Deadline
Nothing can be better than giving an exact deadline. Not only will it help the receiver plan accordingly, but it will also provide a timeline for the sender to look forward to.
2. Use ‘When You Have a Chance’
Coming out as demanding stresses both the employee and the employer. Therefore, giving the receiver a space to breathe will allow them to contemplate things better.
3. Use ‘EOD’
It is an acronym that stands for ‘End of Day.’ It conveys the message as urgent but not intense enough for the receiver to drop off all their things on their planner.
4. Use a Strong CTA
Never use ASAP in the subject line! Using it in the subject line of your email shows a complete disregard for the recipient. If the work is that crucial, use another prompt mode of communication like a phone call.
Use a strong CTA(Call to Action), if it seems trivial to call. Convey the ‘why’ of urgency and not just urgency.
Ex: If the manager needs the report today, send the email with the subject line ‘Manager Needs Report Today.’ It conveys urgency right away, but it also sounds gentle.
5. Use ASAP as the Last Resort
You can apply it to convey something after a specific deadline has expired.
For example, One can give a deadline of ASAP when the original deadline has already passed.
6. Use ‘As Soon As Possible’!
No matter if the acronym ASAP intends to give the same message, using ‘as soon as possible’ sounds gentler than its abbreviation.
Some other words/ phrases you can use:
- Right away
- At your earliest convenience
- At once
Conclusion – Full Form of ASAP
In conclusion, we understood the full form of ASAP – as soon as possible, that found its place in the everyday language during the 70s. While today due to its extensive use in business correspondence, using it cautiously is the need of the hour.