It’s the most overused and under-defined word in the English language now. Yes, it’s bypassed “fact” now, that’s how bad it is.
Hollywood Video employees get a newsletter titled “Leverage the Power of One.” Commercials say “Learn the power of leverage! Learn what leverage is!” to lure you to bullshit business seminars. “Leverage your gold into cash!” “Leverage the social psychology of social networking media!” Even game developers aren’t immune. “We also wanted to leverage some content from our existing environments.” Leverage the synergy into an actualization of the paradigm!
Business jargon has a special place in our society, certainly, particularly where it can be used instead of everyday language. It’s a wonderful tool to confuse people into thinking something is a good idea, and leverage is the keystone in the obfuscation arch.
You know what leverage actually is? Debt. That’s it. It’s the debt most companies run in permanently, so they can keep paying people from that and expanding the business without actually cutting into the profits. When a company is called “highly leveraged” it’s running way more debt than income, and is essentially fucked. All the companies that just went out this year without giving final paychecks? Highly leveraged.
Of course, that definition has disappeared into the mists, hasn’t it? “Leverage the Power of One” is pretty meaningless now, unless the company considers the employees to be a debt.
Come to think of it, that’s possible knowing that company. But I digress. Now it’s a word that is used in the place of any verb, EVER, to make something sound legit, or at the very least important. Most of the time, it’s INSTANT MONEY NOW DOT COM DOT OMG DOT INFO. I’d bet 9 out of 10 times I hear the word, there’s a .info domain attached, and we all know what that means, don’t we?
That applies just as much to the one out of ten times it’s not utter crap, it’s still crap. If it’s a real usage, it means running in debt, which I think we’ve figured out doesn’t work by now. If it’s a scam, the word is being used in place of “use” or “apply.”
Now go out there with this new knowledge, leverage your intelligence to shift some paradigms outside the box, keep it dynamic, show the rest of the Reaganauts how to do it!