If you want to think of it as a "delay effect" to start, then yes, it is a "delay effect" of one sample (rather than a delay of some number of seconds).
However, "true" delay effects are based on circular buffers (see the Delay Effect chapter), which is not the case with the tone control example. What Tom is trying to point out is that when the delays are short (a few samples), mixing them back with the dry signal produces tonal effects, rather than echoes, to our ears. We hear it as an EQ type of operation.
When the delays are long and mixed back with the dry signal, we tend to hear them as discrete echoes, although there is also filtering taking place as well (inverse comb filtering, as covered in the Delay Effect chapter).
The concept of being able to define the digital delay of n-samples of a signal as a mathematical operation (multiplication by e^jwn, as detailed in the DSP Theory Chapter) is part of the special beauty of DSP theory.
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