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What is Your Perspective on Perspective?

            The word perspective is a common word which people use everyday. An example of the common use can be heard often on sports shows, such as when sports reporters say to a losing teams" coach, "What is your perspective on that heartbreaking loss". Of course, the coach babbles on about how the team did not execute or hold on to the ball. However, in my graphic engineering class and drawing class this word perspective is used in a different way. In my graphic engineering class, perspective is a term to describe a three dimensional view of an object. In my Drawing 101 class, perspective is a type of view which a drawing is based on. It is easy to see the use of the word perspective changes from subject to subject. Even video games have their own definition on perspective.
             The first use of the word perspective occurred in the late 14th century. The etymology of this word is traced by Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary.
             from Old French perspective, from Medieval Latin perspectiva ars "science of optics," from feminine of perspectivus "of sight, optical" from past participle stem of perspicere "inspect, look through," from per- "through" + specere "look at." Originally "optics," sense of "appearance of distance or depth" is century 1600, influenced by It. prospettiva, an artists" term; the extended meaning "mental outlook" is first recorded 1762.
             The first definition of perspective in most dictionaries was "A view or vista". This statement is very broad and can really mean anything from a physical view or a mental view. However, the second definition, "A mental view or outlook", gives a more pin pointed definition. These two definitions are the guidelines by which most people use the word such as the "What is your perspective on this heartbreaking loss" question. In retrospect, the sports reporter is really asking the coach, "What is your mental viewpoint of the loss". Fabian Linden states, "It is useful occasionally to look at the past to gain a perspective on the present".

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