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Example: “The terrace offers panoramic views of the countryside.”
What is a panorama, anyway? Wikipedia, which of course never lies, defines it as “any wide-angle view or representation of a physical space”. Gee, thanks for that. The Free Online Dictionary, meanwhile, describes “an unbroken view of an entire surrounding area”. That’s far more like it. We tend to think of panoramas in terms of standing somewhere outside, and being able to see all around with no ugly things - like buildings or humans - in the way. Even though being outside isn’t strictly vital to the definition at all. Some villas actually offer inner panoramas, in fact. I say all this because ‘panoramic views’ are often feted in travel brochures as a lusty quality of a house, hotel and so on. Sometimes the use seems dubious – apparently there are mainland beaches with panoramic views of the sea, and cottage terraces offering a panorama of the surrounding countryside… despite the fact that the cottage itself must be behind the terrace, thus interrupting the view. It’s okay, though, because since no-one really knows what the word means, nor does anyone know what it doesn’t mean. Ultimately, a panorama seems, basically, to constitute a reasonably wide view. Which means Wikipedia was right all along.