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Is there a verb that means "put it out there for everyone to see"? What brought this about is the fact I wondered how to describe the scene where the police of Gotham city flashes the bat-signal on the roof of their HQ for batman to come.

I could only come up with this:

The cops projected the bat-signal onto the clouds.

However, it sounds quite horrible, and I have no idea what other verb than project could be used, and would be used by an author.

  • For what it's worth, "projected" sounds satisfyingly apt to me here, both literally (transmitting an image from a light source to be viewed elsewhere by many, as a projector) and in its more general sense of "sending". – Ben May 21 at 1:23
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In the sentence:

The cops projected the bat-signal onto the clouds.

the verb "projected" is the most suitable, because the cops used a projector, similar to the projectors in cinemas or in businesses.


Regarding your other question:

"put it out there for everyone to see"

you can use "publicly displayed". However, it cannot be really used in the context of projecting an image on the clouds. It can be used, for example:

  • for displaying something (painting, sculpture...) in a museum;
  • displaying something in a public market (a statue - which is usually permanent, or a car, as a temporary advertisement of a local dealer);
  • for displaying a (big, huge) banner on buildings, bridges or other locations;
  • and examples can continue...
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"Project" is perfect for this use!

  • Will you please provide more details, as per why is your answer correct? It is important that the OP has a chance to learn from the answers. – virolino May 21 at 5:02
  • I agree with @virolino. A good answer should help the questioner (OP) learn about English. While your answer is correct, the question specifically states that the verb 'to project' doesn't sound correct. Simply contradicting doesn't help. Why is 'project' perfect? – dwilli May 21 at 5:58
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While projected would be understood to imply that it was in the air for everyone to see, a more specifically appropriate word, your sentence aside, is broadcast:

[Merriam-Webster]
2 : to make widely known
A man who—make no mistake—cares deeply, but doesn't feel the need to broadcast it.
— Allison Glock
3 : to send out or transmit (something, such as a program) by means of radio or television or by streaming over the Internet
// an event being broadcast live on television

The problem with your sentence is that while projected is perfectly fine for the sentence itself, it's not an ideal explicit example of the "put it out there for everyone to see" idea.

If I were to take your sentence and apply broadcast instead, it would become:

The cops broadcasted the bat signal.

Note that onto the clouds doesn't work well after this particular verb. However, you could add something like this:

The cops broadcasted the bat signal for everyone's awareness.

Also note, however, that broadcast still isn't really a good fit in conjunction with the bat signal. If I were really trying to turn this into a good example, I would make it something like this instead:

The cops broadcasted an appeal to Batman for his help.

Such a broadcast would take the form of a projected bat signal.

  • Isn't the past of 'to broadcast' just 'broadcast'? – dwilli May 21 at 6:09
  • @dwilli It's sometimes conjugated that way, but not always. If you follow the link to the definition, you'll see that broadcasted is also correct. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 21 at 6:46

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