Via The Oatmeal, posted by a friend of mine on Facebook:
The joke here is that sending a file via email that is 12 MB in size, printing it off, signing it and faxing it back is an unrealistic ask and makes inefficient use of Internet resources. Signing a document by sailing back to Spain, signing with a quill pen and then riding a horse to deliver a message to a king makes no sense these days. You would merely fax it back or sign it, have it notorized and delivered by FedEx back to your intended recipient. By making use of technology and delivery services you would save yourself a ton of time.
For the electronic request, email isn’t really the platform for sending large attachments. There are other mechanisms to do this such as uploading the file to a site (such as FTP) and then requiring login credentials to access the file. Printing it off wastes a lot of ink and then faxing back 30 (!) pages uses up not only more bandwidth, but also the user’s time in sitting there and “manually” faxing back all of the pages. Instead, it is much more efficient to have a web form where the user can view the page and then using something like a digital certificate, sign off on the form and then have everything stored electronically. You are not sending a large file via email, wasting printer resources nor wasting fax transmission line resources (who uses fax anymore these days? Oh, yeah, lots of people).
== printing it off, signing it and faxing it back is an unrealistic ask ==
Hm. When did "ask" become a noun? This is the second time I've seen it that way in the last six months.
Come to Microsoft. It's used as a noun on a daily basis. That must be where I picked it up.