(Okay, fellow babies, here we go again with "David'Z RantZ!")
First of all, this is a "viola."
Need more? The following info is excerpted from Wikipedia, with a few typically smart-alecky interjections from the Silver Fox:
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello. [Gotta love those "middle children."] The casual observer may mistake the viola for the violin because of their similarity in size, closeness in pitch range (the viola is a perfect fifth below the violin), and nearly identical playing position. [Last time Yours Truly had a "perfect fifth," it was a bourbon liqueur known as Jeremiah Weed!] The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin but is larger in size and more variable in its proportions. A "full-size" viola's body is between one and four inches longer than the body of a full-size violin (i.e., between 15 and 18 inches, with an average length of about 16 inches). [Huh. Size queens.]
Okay, now, this is another example of "viola." Well, one variety, that is. I've followed it with another edited Wikipedia entry, and I'll keep my pithy comments to myself this time, so you won't get... errr... pithed off.
Viola... is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae, with around 400–500 species distributed around the world. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, however viola species (commonly called violets, pansies or heartsease) are also found in widely divergent areas such as Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes in South America.
"Okay, Foxy," you may be saying, "One's a musical instrument. The other is a bunch of freakin' flowers. Who the hell cares?"
Well... I just told you what "viola" is (or are).
What "viola" isn't, is "voilà" (or "voila"), an interjection which is "used to call attention, to express satisfaction or approval, or to suggest an appearance as if by magic."
And I really tried to find an appropriate illustration for the word "voilà," but... well... You try doing a Google image search for that word, which'll give you crap like this:
I mean... seriously? WTF?!?
Anyway, I've seen far too many online instances of people confusing the two lately, and it simply has to stop. Now. Or I'll slap you silly.
And by the way, if you're one of those people who writes "villians" when you mean "villains," I'm coming for you, next!
You've been warned.
Thanks for your time.