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Apparently optimizable is not a word. Why?

This occurs semi-frequently when we have candidates for one or more optimization techniques.

Note that I would argue that suboptimal has the undesirable connotation that the subject is inadequate, or a poor solution.

related: Meaning of "suboptimal"

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closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, MετάEd, aedia λ, tchrist, choster Apr 27 '14 at 3:46

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When you say optimizable, do you mean could be done better? – KCH Apr 23 '14 at 14:46
This question appears to be off-topic because it stems from the misconception that optimisable (or indeed, optimizable) is "not a word" (whatever OP means by "word"). – FumbleFingers Apr 23 '14 at 15:24
try ameliorable. Capable of being ameliorated, or improved en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ameliorable – vickyace Apr 23 '14 at 15:33
The OP needs to clarify, but in certain contexts, such as computer software, optimize is not wrong here. It is a common jargon word meaning, as you say, "make better according to some metric." The fact that the result is not actually optimal is no more an indicator of error than it is erroneous to call something "awful" that does not fill you with awe. Etymology is not semantics. – Fraser Orr Apr 23 '14 at 21:48
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Optimizable is a word. It occurs in several dictionaries, and quick Google and Google Books results show a number of hits in published works, all consistently using it to mean "capable of optimization." It isn't common, and it isn't a very attractive word, but it's formed in such a way that the meaning is perfectly clear.

Why do you think it's "not a word"?

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Silly me, this and wikitonary came up when I looked for it, so I assumed it wasn't a word. dictionary.cambridge.org/spellcheck/american-english/… – 00500005 Apr 23 '14 at 14:51
Even if you could find it in no dictionary whatever, that would not establish that it was not a word. – Colin Fine Apr 23 '14 at 17:19
My IDE (Aptana Studio) doesn't think it's a word. Putting it in a comment causes the spellcheck to vomit :( – user193130 Oct 14 '14 at 16:28

Actually optimizable can be found in a number of dictionaries:

optimize +‎ -able Adjective

optimizable ( not comparable ) Capable of being optimized .

Antonyms :nonoptimizable

improvable may be an alternative

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try ameliorable- Capable of being ameliorated, or improved.


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Consider "perfectible" and its variant "perfectable" as alternatives to "optimizable."

optimum/optimal: to the greatest degree.

perfect: having no mistakes or flaws; completely correct or accurate; having all the qualities you want in that kind of person, technique, situation, etc.

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There is a difference, though. There can only be one perfect state, whereas there can be multiple optima. – chapka Apr 23 '14 at 16:37
@chapka Correct. Still and all, both are superlatives. – Elian Apr 23 '14 at 16:40

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