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What does Microsoft's Vista mean?

Sunday Supplement It comes from a hole, the meaning varies everywhere
Sun Jul 24 2005, 21:57
VISTA IS in Latin a great but rather indeterminate noun. The word indicates a landscape, so that if you were taken to the top of a mountain, for example, you might exclaim to your companion: "Sheesh! I spot a tiny vole in the vista ahead!"

Then there's the Spanish "Hasta La Vista". According to Google translate, this means "good bye", as in English, "ta ra!" or "Terminator" [shorely termites? Ed.] as the Americans call white ants.

In Italian, apparently, "vista" means "sight", a function of them things most anthropoids have two of in front of their faces.

In French, "vista" means "vista". But the INQ has to report that in the proto European language Sanskrit, Vista means something far more ugly than any of these.

Sanskrit has an alphabet of 51 letters, basing it on the Panini system of how letters are pronounced. There are 16 vowels and the rest are consonants, meaning there's room for all sorts of misunderstandings. The Sanskrit vista, depending on how you pronounce it, which does vary from region to region in the Indian sub-continent, nevertheless can and does mean excrement. It looks like this, in the Devanagari original. Visht

Now many people describe Sanskrit as a "dead language" in the same way as they describe Latin or classical Greek as "dead".

We dunno how many schools still teach Latin in Italy, nor classical Greek in Greece, but many children still tip up at Sanskrit colleges in India - and hey, there's even Sanskrit Universities still thriving.

Plus even English has loan words from Sanskrit, never mind the common heritage which means that when a pandit used to number eka, dva trih, chatur, it's not far off from the words we still use. [Is that one, two, three, four? Ed.]

It is probably just a coincidence. These things happen! µ


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