What's a TLA? A "three letter acronym." I was introduced to TLAs when I started working at Microsoft (many moons ago). Everyone spoke in acronyms, so I had no idea what anyone was talking about for the first 6 months of my employment. That changed when Roger, a guy in my group, told me about the TLA website on the Microsoft intranet. I checked it out; the website defined all of the TLAs for me. I sat down one day and memorized as many as I could; suddenly, I could speak like a Microsofty. 

I like acronyms, but this Microsoft experience taught me a valuable lesson: language can alienate.

Actually, I first learned of the exclusivity of linguistics in graduate school, when I was learning multi-syllabic words on a frequent basis. I'd go home to my wife, start talking about Foucault's panopticon (a paradigm for postmodern paralysis), and watch her get lost in my abstract, verbal artistry. Of course, she'd just throw the banter back in my face with her newly acquired medical jargon (she was a veterinary student at the time and would ramble on about things like avian mycoplasmosis [a pleuropneumonia–like organism infection]).

Where am I going with this? Well, I think that language acquisition is power-acquisition. After all, a big part of the educational process (especially in higher-education) is developing a vocabulary that reflects one's subject-matter expertise. But do we want to exclude others by speaking in TLAs or in uncommon multi-sylabic phrases? I hope not. It's fun to use specific verbiage with others that "speak the same language." But I believe we have to ensure that our use of language doesn't exclude those that are not familiar with it. Otherwise, our language--our educational process--breaks down community rather than building it up.

Here's a photo of a panopticon.