... two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse.
When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualizing you probably hunt about until you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. ... They will construct your sentences for you -- even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent -- and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.
To begin with [the defense of English] has nothing to do with archaism, with the salvaging of obsolete words and turns of speech, or with the setting up of a "standard English" which must never be departed from. On the contrary, it is especially concerned with the scrapping of every word or idiom which has outworn its usefulness. It has nothing to do with correct grammar and syntax, which are of no importance so long as one makes one's meaning clear, or with the avoidance of Americanisms, or with having what is called a "good prose style." On the other hand, it is not concerned with fake simplicity and the attempt to make written English colloquial. Nor does it even imply in every case preferring the Saxon word to the Latin one, though it does imply using the fewest and shortest words that will cover one's meaning. What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around. In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is surrender to them.
fulcrum: a hard and final decision about whether to cancel a project or continue to the next phase; also, the date on which such a decision is to be made, or the meeting at which such a decision is to be made. "I need your recommendation by the 11th, because we're having the fulcrum on the 14th." (or "...because the 14th is the fulcrum.")
refresh: update (either as a verb or a noun). "Go ahead and refresh that now that we have the fourth quarter data." "Take a look at the January 8 refresh and tell me what you think."
signalize: to let the next group to work on a project know that your part in it is done and they should take it from there. "Good work, DA. Go ahead and signalize Marketing."
counterpoised: Prepared to respond to a certain move by a competitor, especially if the competitor's move under consideration is considered not the most likely option. "If WidgetCo releases CoolGadget earlier than the anticipated April release date, we are counterpoised to market our existing product as superior to CoolGadget."
overgrazed: describing a market which would be unprofitable to enter because it's already saturated with competitor products. "There's no point in trying to create a tablet now, that market is overgrazed."
mustachio: to make something visually more appealing, to spruce it up, with the added connotation that one shouldn't spend much time or effort doing so. "The content of that report is good, but you should mustachio it."
put _____ on the boardwalk: to conduct a very small beta test or trial run, with no formal method for collecting or analyzing feedback beyond asking people what they think of it. "I think we've done all we can for CoolGadget, let's put it on the boardwalk."
bespoke: customized (when used outside the garment industry). "We offer bespoke software solutions for your data security needs."
cognize over: Think about. This one disgusts me so much I can't even bring myself to give an example.
deoxygenate: to abruptly terminate a project, without communicating it well. "I haven't heard anything about X for a week, should I still be working on that?" "No, X has been deoxygenated."
unsteel: To bend the rules to accomplish something that one is having difficulty accomplishing within the letter of the rules. "I'm having trouble getting the necessary approvals for this purchase." "Well, let's unsteel that and just get the Assistant Director's approval instead of the Director's."
sourdough: A product that should be renamed/rebranded but not functionally changed. "Our PooPlayer isn't selling well. It's sourdough."
contour: I have no clue what this is supposed to mean in the business sense, but I hear it all the time.
organic provolone: Best of the best; may be used with either products or people. "We want this to be the organic provolone of GPS navigation systems." "We are seeking the organic provolone of Python programmers."
strangify: To deliberately make a product weirder, in the hopes of hiding the fact that it's nearly identical, functionally, to a competitor product. "Our PooPlayer looks too much like WidgetCo's CoolGadget, we need to strangify it."
Buy a Shirt