I won't claim anything unique about my observations on how the English language has suffered at the hands of Corporate America. But that wouldn't stop me from throwing my thoughts into the mix now would it?
Currently my personal favorite is leverage.
In physics class this was sort of a synonym for torque. At work it's a verb. I hear this word all the time at the office and generally speaking (unless we're talking about moving a heavy file cabinet or something) this is what is meant:
From MBA Jargon Watch:
"...'leverage' is used indiscriminately to describe how a resource can be applied to a particular environment or situation. 'We intend to leverage our investment in IT infrastructure across our business units to drive profits.'"
Usually you only hear the big-wig manager types using this type of talk in their high level "strategic" type meetings. Which is fine you see, what concerns me is when what I'll call other non-big-wig types (such as lowly developers like myself) start using it as well.
Please excuse my IT bias in advance; is it just me or is this term used particularly in reference to us techno geeks? Think about what they're saying. "We'll leverage our development resources to provide blah blah blah...." or the like. To me that just sounds like a politically correct way of saying "Let's get the monkeys down in dev on that blah blah blah..."
We all need tools that'll get us more for less I suppose. It just has a different tone when that tool is you. I digress... Just stop and think the next time you're about to leverage some resource. To the guy upstairs, YOU'RE the monkey, buddy.