An insidious and highly contagious behaviour spreading through our workplaces is threatening to suck the soul out of every one of us: an incessant use of office jargon.
If you have recently told a colleague you will "ping a report to them later", asked them to "go for the low-hanging fruit" or suggested they "buy into a project", you have already been poisoned by the rise of office blubbering.
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If you have some spare "bandwidth" (office speak for time in your day), then read on. But be warned that you might find the unacceptable level of "analysis paralysis" (in other words, unnecessary analysis that leads to nowhere) rubbing your rhubarb up the wrong way.
Let's be honest: commonly used and overused workplace phrases and jargon are not only highly annoying, they alienate others and mask the true meaning behind what we are trying to convey.
The reasons for their use vary but most experts agree those who burble are out to amplify their own intelligence, fit in with others or cover up their incompetence.
Look out for the boss who accuses you of "apple polishing" to get their own way (think flattery), a nasty colleague who says you are "alcluistic" (completely clueless) and a supervisor who requests "a work spasm" (a period of intensive and productive work).
Do not be surprised if you hear a receptionist who regularly blocks staff from seeing the boss being described as "a deceptionist", a meeting with your boss heralded as "over-the-shoulder-time", a colleague describing working remotely as "homing" or someone asking for a HiPPO (the highest paid person's opinion) on a problem.
Of more concern is that as our workplaces tries to reduce spiralling levels of antagonistic behaviour, bullying and harassment, a tidal wave of new and aggressive office speak is flooding in.
That gusher is normalising existing hostile, combative and cringeworthy clichés such as "crushing it" and its varietals "smashing it" and "killing it" – all translated as praises for your efforts.
Praise is good but think carefully about the impact of others hearing the boss say "there is only one throat to choke" (the sole person responsible for a major blunder), a team is a "dysfunctional circular firing squad" (surely that one does not need explaining) or that you are a "decision sniper" (someone who remains quiet in a meeting until a decision is about to be made before voicing a contrary view).
There is also "hand-grenade close", "tree killer" and "throw the dolly out of the pram". Those phrases are as subtle as a chainsaw massacre when it comes to forceful, aggressive or violent overtones.
And "going forward", aggressive animal-themed office speak will also make its way into the workplace.
Colleagues will talk about "kicking the cat" (putting the blame on more junior staff), "kicking dead whales down the beach" (doing something unpleasant) or "rolling the tortoise" (adding new resources to make things move more quickly). Someone needs to call the RSPCA.
It is easy to laugh off aggressive work speak as simply a bit of fun. However, others believe such language embraces forceful, combative and unpardonable behaviours.
Whatever your opinion, if you think using more office jargon will get you a promotion, think again.
With more and more of us using cringeworthy clichés, not using them allows you to stand out for the right reasons.
Or, as an alternative, borrow some non-violent office speak from far away to highlight your worldliness.
When you are engaged in totally pointless activities, evoke the Dutch saying that "this is like carrying water to the sea".
And if someone is making a difficult work task even more challenging, go Greek by saying "why are you going barefoot on those thorns".
At the very least, put the use of office jargon on "your radar" and have a longish "thought shower" about it.
• Professor Gary Martin is a workplace culture expert with the Australian Institute of Management.