Cool. I do it all the time and have never been questioned.Sorry but that is piss poor phraseology. If you give me maintain 2500 when I'm at 3500 for brevity, it'll take an extra 30 seconds to confirm what you meant when you could have said descend and everyone would be on the same page.
Honestly if you give me something like that, I assume you've lost your SA and now don't trust much of anything from you until I feel like you've got a handle on things again.
You and I are in the same page.He didn’t think you were at 2500. He wanted you to descend to 2500. Although not perfectly by the book, “climb/descend and maintain” is often left off in favor of “maintain” for brevity.