There's a tendency in the technology industry to speak in acronyms, generally three-letter acronyms or TLAs. Technology is not the only industry where this happens - I'm reading the FT right now, and it's saturated with EBITDA and FTSE, not to mention what the ECB is doing about the PIIGS - but because I work in tech I feel more confident talking about my own glass house.

At one level TLAs are no more than the logical end-state of jargon. Once you start repeating phrases instead of communicating, it's more efficient to condense those phrases to acronyms. It's also cool to be in the in crowd who knows what's going on.

The problem is that at some point you need to communicate what you're doing to the outside world, and if you've been talking about it in TLAs all along, they're going to slip into the conversation. Your audience will pick up on them and repeat them, and pretty soon the acronyms have taken on a life of their own and nobody even knows what they stand for any more.

Try an experiment: use the full names instead of the acronyms wherever possible. I mean, be sensible: people will look at you funny if you say Universal Serial Bus. But at least try to avoid adding to the stock of empty acronyms - the intellectual junk food of our industry.

And if the name is too long and unwieldy to use except as an acronym? Well, that's a big indication of something that needs fixing!