The following quote comes from an article on “Crowdfunding or ‘e-begging.’” This involves asking for donations for such things as “the former baby sitter hoping to crowdfund her dream wedding or the stressed-out couple asking for money to take a vacation.” But not all crowdfunding requests are frivolous. “Sites like GoFundMe and YouCaring are full of ‘worthy donation recipients’ such as people asking for help with medical debts or whose homes were wiped out by natural disasters. But there are many, many others whose requests are patently selfish, like the mom who just renovated her kitchen and now wants her Facebook contacts to sponsor her kids ice-skating lessons.”
It used to be that when a verb (e.g. ask) was nouned (an ask or plural asks) it was something unusual and might even have been put in quotes (e.g. ‘an ask,’ ‘a give,’ ‘a take,’ ‘a reveal,’ ‘a get, ‘a tell,’. . .) It used to annoy me, but today verb nouning is so ubiquitous that I barely notice it anymore. Well, I do notice it but I feel there’s nothing terrible about this because the meaning is clear and it’s not very offensive and it has become perfectly acceptable (I think) even in serious speech and writing. On the other hand ‘e-begging’ is less acceptable. (>:)<2015 “Let’s call these ‘cyber-shakedowns’ what they truly are: ‘e-begging.’ . . The format of these social media appeals ‘requiring no eye contact, has made hat passing so easy—so shameless—that it invites brash unapologetic asks.”—The Week, December 25, page 44>
An interesting article by Henry Hitchings in the New York Times of March 30, 2013, titled Those Irritating Verbs-as-Nouns has a nice discussion on this subject – however, he’s a little less tolerant than some, but still understanding.
I’ll just record here that the article tells us that these little buggers are nothing new and have been around for a long time. Here are the examples he gives:
solve – 18th century
fail – is older than “failure” (which effectively supplanted it)
reveal – a noun since the 16th century. Even in its narrow broadcasting context, as a term for the final revelation at the end of a show, it has been around since the 1950s.
ask – has been used as a noun for a thousand years — though the way we most often encounter it today, with a modifier (“a big ask”), is a 1980s development.
___________________________<“Aesthetics will always play a part in the decisions we make about how to express ourselves — and in our assessment of other people’s expression — but sometimes we need to do things that are aesthetically unpleasant in order to achieve other effects, be they polemical or diplomatic.”>
Ken G — December 27, 2015