Delta (spotted in the Roanoke [VA] Times)

School funding issue dominates council debate
March 12, 2010

…The Republicans targeted what they view as waste in the city’s budget. They particularly rallied around an early statement by Craig that placed city government budget growth over the last decade at $83 million.

“I think that there’s room in that $83 million delta between 2000 and 2010 to take care of a lot of the problems in the schools,” Craig said. “Besides that, as I told you, the resourcing of the schools is idiotic. It makes no sense.”

…Trinkle fired back on that point, arguing that the city budget is currently at its 2007 level, and that the school budget is at its 2006 level.

“You can talk about magic money, you can talk about an $83 million delta,” Trinkle said. “But all money is green, and the fact of the matter is we have supported the schools well. Our schools are supported in the top third when you look at all cities in the state of Virginia.”

Oh, you guys. You do not squeak by on this one just because you referred to a difference. Your use of delta is unnecessary, pretentious and wrong. A delta does not “take care of problems,” any more than it compares to “magic money.” Frankly, unless you’re talking accounting, finance, mathematics or science, you should not be using the word. It’s useful only for padding your verbiage.

But at least now I know how my client picked up delta as a weasel word. Apparently, it’s out there in wide circulation — and on both ends of the political spectrum, as noted in the article. Everybody, for the sake of the children, please stop!


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