I imagine that most of my posts on this blog will be rants... well here is my first one:
One of the most annoying things in all of professional basketball is commentators misusing the term differential. For those who don't watch basketball, at the ends of quarters, announcers will often say something like, "There is a 4 second differential between the shot clock and the game clock." In this case, they are trying to point out that the game clock is 4 seconds off from the shot clock (for example-> game clock: 22 seconds, shot clock: 18 seconds).
Now, anyone with a grade school education knows that the correct to term is difference. Anytime you subtract one number from another, the result is a difference.
Using the term differential here actually makes absolutely no sense. They might as well say that there is a 4 second banana. By using the term differential, they are claiming that the rate at which one clock counts down is different than the rate of the other (sorta...), which clearly isn't true.
Okay... so this probably seems stupid to some, but after hearing this term used multiple times during every basketball game I've ever watched... I am officially annoyed.