I got to work this morning, logged into Slack (which is wonderful, by the way), and reviewed the late-night activity on a pressing project deadline.  An urgent task had been assigned to one of my peepz, and I did not see a response from him in the chat channel yet.

“Is it safe to assume,” I wrote, “that you are working on this task?”

I saw “peep is typing” and then that disappeared.  Then again, “peep is typing” and it disappeared.

So I looked at my question again.  Is it safe to assume that you are working on this?  And I remembered that this peep is in Ukraine, and not a native speaker of English.  With new eyes, I realized: This is a strange construction!  It is fairly clear what “you are working on this” means, but the first few words? Bizarre!

I reworded the question.  His response was immediate.

I wonder this morning: is it safe to assume anything?