Pan out

Example: "His effort didn't pan out well."

Indians use this word a lot to describe a situation where a person tried to achieve something by a good deal of effort but failed.

Put Out

Example: "Pakistani military put out a video of a missile launch"

What would be the proper word for this? Publish or release?

  • Those aren't Indian English. They're just English. As terse Germanic phrases, they're going to sound less formal and professional than something latinate, but there's nothing wrong or unusual with them or your use of them.
    – lly
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 6:47

1 Answer 1


Pan out

Even though pan out is a familiar and commonly used term in the west, other Western equivalents include work out, happen, result (in), turn out, culminate, and eventuate (more formal).

Put out

Put out is also common (not as used as pan out however), but some synonyms as used in the above context are (indeed) publish, release, (as well as) get out, print, manufacture, produce, offer, supply, distribute, and market.

  • 1
    I thought put out means to extinguish (lamps).
    – user20865
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 5:37
  • 1
    @Anonymous that as well. It also means to expel (e.g. a cat, especially overnight) so "have you put out the cat?" "what? I didn't know she was on fire!"
    – Chris H
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 6:35
  • indeed both usages are correct but given the context of the question ("Pakistani military put out a video of a missile launch.") I provided synonyms to the meaning I thought the user asking the question was looking for :) very funny example! @Chris H
    – Maddie S.
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 12:20
  • Coincidentally there have been a few questions in the last few days in which the answer has boiled down to "context makes all the difference". This may be particularly important in the case of "put out" (Cambridge)
    – Chris H
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 12:50

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