I want to write that the government is trying to make its attempts for privatization of the educational system look natural to public. What is a suitable verb here?

Example sentence:

The government is trying to {make look natural} its attempts for privatization of the educational system.

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    Let me get this straight. (1) The government tries to privatize the education system. (2) It is not good from its own point of view. (3) However, the government want its citizens to believe it is natural? What do you mean by natural? Legitimate? Can you elaborate with more context?
    – user140086
    Oct 28, 2016 at 14:47
  • This would be covered by propagandize
    – Gnawme
    Oct 28, 2016 at 14:50
  • Yes. In fact it is legal but they try to make it look like they do not have any responsibility to provide public schools, while they do.
    – user192191
    Oct 28, 2016 at 14:57
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    "legitimize" is another candidate; depends greatly on context.
    – user1729
    Oct 28, 2016 at 15:58
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    I'm also not clear what sense of natural you're looking for. If I was more sure, I'd add the answer of downplay (understate the importance). Oct 28, 2016 at 17:44

7 Answers 7


How about normalisation (or normalise)?

It's usually used to refer to databases but I believe Adam Curtis may have given it new definition in his documentary HyperNormalisation which argues that since the 1970s, governments, financiers, and technological utopians have given up on the complex "real world" and built a simple "fake world" that is run by corporations and kept stable by politicians.

  • I like the word but see comment above, for how to apply it here. I voted for both (J. Siebeneichler for reframing the sentence, and karimtabet for word choice)
    – Elby Cloud
    Oct 28, 2016 at 15:35

One such word is justify.

The government is trying to justify its attempts for privatization of the educational system.


justify VERB

1 Show or prove to be right or reasonable.

‘All of the pretexts used to justify the war have proven to be lies and fabrications.’

  • I think this answer gets at what OP intended more than the others do. Based on their comment, I don't think "make look natural" is the best descriptor - "justify" seems to fit the bill.
    – Dan A.
    Oct 28, 2016 at 18:55

Although it doesn't always work for anything that can be described as “make something look natural” (naturalise?), a good verb to use for the situation you describe desensitise / desensitize, which can be used to mean something like “to make [someone] not feel bad about something”.

Caveat: the direct object of this verb is the person to whom the thing will look natural. Thus, your example could be written as The government is trying to desensitize the public to its attempts for privatization of educational system.

Another verb that can be used similarly is acclimatise / acclimatize


So, you contend that government has an inherent responsibility to provide publicly-governed education, and you refute the government position that it merely has to provide education to the public?

If that is so, and the government has not yet privatized and seeks to garner support, then you might try validate:

demonstrate or support the truth or value of

As in:

The government is trying to validate its attempts for privatization of the educational system [by expounding on the lower cost to citizens, etc.]

If the government has already privatized, and is giving reasons why they decided such, then consider justify:


Trivialize [MW]

to make (something) seem less important or serious than it actually is


Consider naturalize, which the Oxford Dictionary of Difficult Words by Archie Hobson defines as:

3 Regard as or cause to appear natural.

It works well in your sentence.

  • As @Reg Dwight has said, '[W]e write stuff in comments that is too obvious to qualify for an answer.' Oct 28, 2016 at 15:33
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    @EdwinAshworth, That's terrible advice: the best answers are often the most obvious! Oct 28, 2016 at 18:02
  • @user1717828 You're failing to differentiate between answer = response and answer = response given as an 'answer' on ELU. Reg Dwight obviously meant the latter here. / The correct response here would have been for the answerer to close-vote for lack of research; looking for a verb related to 'natural' to see if it can be used here is to be expected on a site for 'linguists' etc. 'Naturalize' could have been suggested in a comment. Oct 28, 2016 at 19:03
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    @EdwinAshworth It has recently been pointed out to me that what you are suggesting should be done is arguably against network-wide policy. "Use comments to ask for more information or suggest improvements. Avoid answering questions in the comments." — The comment box. I'm quite annoyed by how comment-answers defeat the system of sorting, voting and commenting on answers. This post has the character of an answer and even if it seems obvious, it's not quite a gen. ref. answer because when you look natural up in dictionaries, this form of the word does not appear.
    – Tonepoet
    Oct 28, 2016 at 21:09

An alternative to trivialize is make something commonplace (or turn something into a commonplace). A "commonplace" is an idea, expression, remark, etc., that is not new or interesting. It is something that happens or appears in many places and is not unusual.

The government is trying to make its attempts for privatization of the educational system commonplace.

The 2006 Million Solar Roofs Bill was historic in both scope and scale, representing the first unified state effort to turn solar power into a commonplace and affordable energy resource for average citizens.

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