'Standing out' is generally a good thing; people who do it are 'outstanding'. I've noticed sports commentators beginning to use 'stand-out' in the meaning 'outstanding' - I don't know whether dictionaries have caught up with this yet. 'In the 1981 Test Series, Ian Botham was the stand-out player'.(Maybe this was made popular by guest celebrities from Australia - another such coining I've noticed [similarly making a hyphenated adjective out of a phrasal verb] is 'go-to' - 'a go-to bowler' is the one that the captain automatically chooses. But I digress*...).
'Sticking out' is generally a bad thing. There is the idiom 'sticking out like a sore thumb'.
PS 'But I digress' is an often-used admission that one is digressing. Strangely, the idiom is not 'But I am digressing'. That - the present progressive - is what I meant. It may also be true that digressing is something I tend to do
- For Teachers