As Soon As Possible

Meaning of “As Soon As Possible”

The phrase “as soon as possible” is a simple phrase which means to do something quickly in the minimum possible timeframe. In modern terms, it is also written as ‘ASAP’ and pronounced as either ‘a – sap’ or individual letters.

Origin of “As Soon As Possible”

The phrase “as soon as possible” has first appeared in print in The Greatest Airlift written by Captain Annis G. Thompson. It was published in 1954. The phrase appears as, “Most drops were made on an ASAP or ‘as soon as possible’ basis.” However, it is interesting to note that now it has evolved into its short form of ASAP.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Can’t Go Back by Futuristic

Get back to you as soon as possible
In this age it’s hard to be responsible
With all of these obstacles I’ve been through
Trying to show you that I still got time for you
Now you’ve been tripping when nothing’s wrong
Acting like we ain’t have something strong
You used to sit in the studio watch me
You probably see me do a hundred songs
I’ve been gone but I do that for both of us
You should be happy when these people notice us
Lining up shows for us
They do the most for us

These lines tell about the resolution of the singer to meet his love very soon. In spite of the challenges and many distractions, he assures her that he still has time for her. The singer reminds her about the time they spent together. She had also watched him singing in the studio. He tries to explain the reason for his absence. Perhaps to let her know that he is away from her to build their dreams, earn money and status. The use of this phrase in the first line explains the efforts of the singer who is trying to see his love as soon as possible.

Example #2

Answering Service by Gerald Levert

Hello this is Angela
I’m sorry I’m unable to answer this call right now
So please at the sound of the beep
Leave your name and number
And I will contact you as soon as possible

This song is about a man trying to reach his girlfriend. However, his call goes to the answering machine. The phrase is used either as a disappointment of the caller or as an assurance to return the call by the receiver.

Example #3

Love Stories: The Relationships of Four Women by Cordelia Alexander

Ba-Kari was excited, and he grabbed and hugged Tracy. “I have a morning news show to do. It’s about my book. They want me to talk about my new book.”
Tracy said, “That’s great. So when are you leaving for New York?”
“I have to leave as soon as possible. I have to get prepared before Monday morning. It’s a six a. m. news show. I have to leave tonight.”
Tracy looked a little upset, but she said, “That’s great, baby. I’m happy for you.”

Living in New York, Ba-Kari and Tracy are leading a great life. Both are now discussing the morning show and the book that Ba-Kari has written. When she asks him about his timing in New York, he says that he is going to leave it “as soon as possible.” The phrase is used as a lack of surety.

Example #4

The Village Witch Doctor by Amos Tutuola

‘What a nice man you are, Ajaiyi,’ the witch doctor told him cheerfully. ‘I know, you are a young man who is fast in taking action on everything! Ah, good of you to have put the three rams on the grave as soon as possible. Now, put it in your mind that you will soon become “Money man.” But you must not forget to go and collect the empty sacks from the grave in the morning. That is all. Go back to your house now; the night is dark.”

This paragraph shows how witch doctor bewitches a young man into sacrificing rams by putting them on a grave. This is his way to make people work on his bidding. The phrase has been used in the sense of urgency and greed.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “The manager didn’t care if there was a shortage of the products. He just wanted to meet the target as soon as possible.”

Example #2: “Once you get the test results you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.”

Example #3: “Please inform the date of shipment to the client as soon as possible.”

Example #4: “The detectives wanted to catch the criminal as soon as possible.”

Example #5: “There was a gas leak in the building. Hence, the employees were ordered to vacate the building as soon as possible.”