That’s the word the guy being interviewed on NPR used. Commonize. I know he meant standardize. But given the English language’s continued slide from standardized to bastardized, I suppose you gotta forgive the guy. I don’t gotta, but you may if you want.
He was talking about the lack of noise emitted by electric/hybrid cars. Seems this silence, which might be music to overburdened city ears, could play potential havoc upon unsuspecting pedestrians accustomed to using their eyes, and ears, before crossing the street. If a car comes tearing around a corner and no one hears it, can it still hit you? Yesiree. Ergo the quest for a car sound.
So where does commonize enter the picture? Stay with me, I’m getting there. The technology exists to create something similar to ring tones for these hybrid autos that get around on little cat feet. Think individualized car-tunes. But since safety is the goal, the challenge is to create a uniform sound that the public will quickly come to associate with “car approaching.” Enter “commonize” as in, “I imagine that we’re going to have to commonize a sound.” Eeek! Re-Volt-ing. Leaf me alone with these non-word words. What’s wrong with “Vrooom-Vrooom!”?