Always the Optimist

Whenever you have the option to choose between “optimal” and “optimum,” opt to use the first option as an adjective and the second option as a noun.

Option 1 Example: “What do you think would be the optimal temperature?”

(the adjective “optimal” modifies the noun “temperature.”

Option 2 Example: “I think 72°F would be the optimum.”

(the noun “optimum” has the article “the” in front of it)

The same rule applies to “minimal” and “minimum.”

I am optimistic that you will optimize your usage of these words at the very minimum, thus the need for correction will be minimal.

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