We all know that you have to speak differently at work than we likely do in our personal lives. Whether you’re in food service or work in a corporate office, there’s a certain amount of politeness that is necessary in order to do the job properly, no matter how furious you might be at any given moment. This can lead to some weird moments.

The phenomenon was noticed by writer Delia Paunescu, who asked her followers to share their “most insufferable work gibberish phrases.”

The post caught on like fire, gaining over 8,000 comments and 95,000 likes since Wednesday. Apparently, this issue speaks to people—particularly those who have worked in an office far too long for their own good.

Paunescu herself shared her favorite phrase, “I’m a little confused,” characterizing it as “absolute rage masked as a professional pleasantry.”

In the age of email especially, people rely on corporate pleasantries often in order to hint at anger or frustration while completely avoiding outright expression of those feelings, meaning emails can be a minefield of passive aggression. Many of the responses involved common email phrases, and reading through them might give you a panic attack if you’ve used any of them without knowing the secret meaning.

Apparently, signing an email with “regards” is equivalent to giving the middle finger? Oh dear. Here are some of the best/worst examples of the work speak we all use and hate:

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*First Published: January 31, 2020, 1:04 pm