I wish to ask a journal's editor if my manuscript will be "desk rejected" (for, if not, it will be peer-reviewed). He and I both know what that means, but I'd rather say it without prejudicing my submission.
What are you trying to do?
- If you've already submitted your article but the status remains "Submitted to journal", you could ask for an update on the status of review.
- If you've already submitted your article and the status has updated to something like "Reviewer invited", then your article is likely not being desk rejected because if the journal was desk rejecting, they would not be inviting reviewers.
- If you've not submitted your article and are wondering if they will desk reject it, you could ask whether the journal is willing to consider your article.
Just submit it. If it will get immediately rejected, it will... The time it takes to do that is probably less than the time it'd take to respond to your email, and perhaps the editor's feeling a need to explain. Indeed, what do you hope to accomplish by asking? For that matter, the editor might decline to give any opinion until you submit, and then, again, you've wasted other peoples' time (and your own).