Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for January 25, 2021 is:

optimization • ahp-tuh-muh-ZAY-shun  • noun

: an act, process, or methodology of making something (such as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible; specifically : the mathematical procedures (such as finding the maximum of a function) involved in this


“A writer who is unfamiliar with writing for websites and SEO (search engine optimization) would do well to learn the basic principles. These include where and how to use keywords, how to structure sentences and paragraphs, and how to link to other websites.” —, 9 Jan. 2021

“‘Try your best to keep working on sleep optimization … remember that optimizing sleep may not always lead to feeling different during the day, but at least it is helping with immune system support,’ [Dr. Lisa Medalie] said. ‘If you are at least doing your best to optimize sleep and get enough sleep, that is all you can control.'” — Darcel Rockett, The Chicago Tribune, 28 Mar. 2020

Did you know?

Optimization started its gradual perfection in mid-19th-century English, when it was derived from optimize, a word first used in the early part of that same century with the meaning “to make the best or most of.” In basic applications, optimization refers to the act or process of making something as good as it can be. In the 21st century, it has seen much use in technical contexts having to do with attaining the best possible functionality, as in “network optimization” and “search engine optimization” (SEO). Like the words optimum and optimism (which refer, respectively, to the amount or degree of something that is best or most effective, and to a feeling or belief that good things will happen in the future), optimize and optimization derive from Latin optimus, meaning “best.”

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