I wouldn't presume to out-Watson Don Watson by saying any more about management language than he has already so ably said, but here's a word or two about acronyms. Now, technically, an acronym is a word made from initial letters (UNESCO, Radar, Qantas etc) not just a bunch of initials, but since there's no really satisfyingly technical word for a bunch of letters, and bunches of letters seem to be colonising the language at an alarming rate, I'll use 'acronym' here to refer to the wide substitutionary use of bunched capital letters in place of words. I think there are two main reasons people use acronyms. Firstly, they use them to save time. But whose time? By compressing the words, the speaker or writer saves time by transferring the burden of cognitive interpretation onto the hearer or reader. Like deciphering 'txt' language (which I find brain-curdling), unpacking acronyms is an added layer of process for the recipient of communication, which she usually has to do rapidly and imperceptibly, and without compromising her reception of the message as a whole. The user of acronyms is essentially saying: 'my time is more valuable than yours.' The second reason is related to the first. People use acronyms to demonstrate their gnostic initiation into a particular tribe, their insider status. Their time is more valuable precisely because they have been initiated, because they are on first-letter terms with all the important phrases.

Having said that, I regularly encounter acronyms that, when expanded, don't make much more sense than a random bunch of letters; indeed many of their component words could be reversed, replaced or interchanged without violence to the sense - such as it is.