A quick guide to passive-aggressive workplace communication

Decorum must prevail when you’re in the office, so nasty-nice code words and phrases stand in for candor. Here’s how to decipher them.

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Some buzzwords and insider phrases are industry-specific; others are just trendy and spread like germs.

Below are euphemistic phrases that have become ubiquitous in the modern office—along with their translations.

See how many you recognize:

“Good to know.” Translation: I couldn’t possibly care less.

“Sounds like a plan.” Translation: A terrible plan, actually. A recipe for seismic failure.

“I know you’re busy.” Translation: My ears are bleeding; please shut the hell up.

“I see what you did there.” Translation: That’s the least funny thing I’ve ever heard.

“Maybe that project isn’t the right fit for you.” Translation: Stay away from that project, you blithering buffoon.

“I’m not growing in my job.” Translation: They don’t even trust me to run the copy machine.

“I don’t think I’m getting the idea behind your graph.” Translation: Who did this? A chimp with an Etch-a-Sketch?

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