Ask, v. 1. To request; to seek to obtain by words; to petition; to solicit; — often with of, in the sense of from, before the person addressed. [1913 Webster]

Incorrect usage:

Big Mill’s Cheesesteaks, a new all-American baseball themed restaurant once had patriotic buntings displayed outside, but city officials told the store owner to take them down or be fined.

….

[Owner Keith Miller] got a phone call from city officials telling him buntings were banned.

City spokesman, Chip Skinner said Gainesville has a strict sign ordinance.

I probably see this at least once a week: Government officials demand compliance with an edict on pain of fine, imprisonment, etc., but news headlines portray the order as a request.

Gainesville’s pols/bureaucrats aren’t “asking.” They’re threatening. There’s a difference.

Imported from the original KN@PPSTER