- Psomething... oh crap, where did I put that book...
However, it's worse than that; if they were only useless, they could simply be ignored. But the fact is that acronyms are quite often used precisely in texts for beginners, and more often than not they are used as the basis for the presentation of the material: first the list of bullet points is presented, and then a section or chapter is dedicated to each. I contend that this is exactly the wrong way to present any subject. It wastes pages (and the reader's time) on what becomes a mere shopping list, forgotten as soon as we move on to the next chapter, instead of using that space in a more constructive way to actually help the reader build an understanding of the subject to the point that he may invent his own acronyms if he needs them. (Finishing the chapter by suggesting such an acronym is quite OK.)
So here's a new year's promise: following this, I will never again (except for comical effect) use an acronym as the starting-off point for a text.
1) The ACID rule for databases: Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability. (Even I could not remember the last two verbatim without peeking, and I am quite familiar with database theory.)