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Old diaries were not merely for reading, but often became a medium onto which a reader projected their emotions.


I get that projected onto is an idiom but I was taught to never butcher an idiom. It shld be written as is.


Otherwise, I would rewrite it as "often became a medium in which a reader projected their emotions." But it doesn't seem to fit as well as onto..can someone help me parse and analyse this para pls? I dont know how to scrutinise.

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It is not an idiomatic expression. It is a figurative use of "project". You can order it or change it any way you want consistent with good English. When you literally project an image, as from a movie projector, you do so "onto" a screen or wall or something like that, and that is why "onto" is needed.

But diaries are books right? We write in books, not on books. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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centrist12Old diaries were not merely for reading, but often became a medium onto which a reader projected their emotions.

That is not the original text. You changed it. Please don't be disingenuous on our forums; quote sentences exactly as you find them.

It is from a lecture titled "The Emotional Intent Behind Rubbing, Touching and Kissing Medieval Manuscripts"

The readers, probably very religious, were interacting on a deep emotional basis with these beautiful works of art. A diary would not be handled that way, unless it happened to be a beloved great-grandmother who had passed away and the family were trying to remember her through her handwriting.

Manuscripts from the late middle ages were not merely for reading, but often became a medium onto which a reader projected their emotions. For instance, most of the full-page miniatures in the Gough Psalter were heavily and repeatedly handled, as if the reader were physically responding to events being depicted. In the scene of the Baptism of Jesus, the faces of John the Baptist and the angel appear to have been touched and the face and torso of Jesus’ skin wet-touched, as if to bathe it. Likewise, in the scene at the garden of Gethsemane, the exposed skin of the hands and face of Christ were severely rubbed, as if in an attempt to destroy his enemies.

Why are you getting so personal all of the sudden? And accusing me of being disingenuous. This place is supposed to help others understand English. Now I wonder why people who are supposed to be sincerely teaching are being accusatory.


I can change it in any way I like. It could be perchance if I would want to use certain sentences in similar ways replace. I am sharing it with diaries because I wanted to understand the types of prepositions I can use.


I still do not understand what you are trying to say with ur reply above. I wanted it to be diaries.. can you answer that properly?

There's no need to overreact. I'm sure there's a calm way to explain your purpose in writing the question as you did.

Your original sentence (below) is grammatically correct.

Old diaries were not merely for reading, but often became a medium onto which a reader projected their emotions.

There is no idiom there. There is just the verb project and the preposition that typically accompanies it (onto), as in "project (something) onto a screen".

CJ

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Thanks Califjim.

I don't think I am overreacting. To tell someone not to be disingenuous is an accusation already. I'm fine with calling out on the act but to label is overboard. That should not have started in the first place. It is just mean. At the end of the day, whether it is manuscripts or diaries or even on a screen, the question focuses on the preposition which I am trying to understand.

From what I learnt,

screen = project onto the screen

books = write in books/diaries/ etc.

social media = post on social media

Understand the project onto (the screen) portion for "onto which the reader project..." But if it is with the case of books and diaries, do we still use onto for the case of diaries and books?


If project onto is correct, is "medium in which a reader projected their emotions." wrong to use with diaries, then?

centrist12But if it is with the case of books and diaries, do we still use onto for the case of diaries and books?

Yes. The problem is that when you have a verb and a noun (project; manuscript / project; diary / project; book), and you want to put a preposition between them, it may be that the verb generally requires a certain preposition after it, and at the same time it may be that the noun generally requires a certain preposition before it. So there's a conflict between them. Sometimes the verb wins, and sometimes the noun wins.

In this case, "project onto" is stronger than "in the diary", so "onto" is used.

So the short answer is yes, in the case of books and diaries we still use onto with project.

CJ

How do we know when a verb wins or a noun wins? What should I look out for to make the decision?

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