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I discovered that the מגילת אסתר of the תורה שלֵמה has some answers: For פרמשתא, citing מדרש רבי עקיבא בן יוסף על אותיות קטנות:‎ פרמשתא, ש׳ ת׳ של פרמשתא קטנה, הסר פ׳ ור׳ וישאר שמתא.‏ This one is hard to translate and explain. So I'll leave it as is. For ויזתא: The Gemara in Megila (16b) says in the name of Rav Yochanan - the Vav of ...


From what I understand, your second question is based on the assumption that every column begins what a Vav. While this seems to be common practice, it is frowned upon by the Poskim who seem to claim that it has no basis in halacha. See for example the Keseth HaSofer at the end of Ch. 4 - and the footnote there. He claims that the ווי העמודים - as it's ...


I was told that the reason is that since there is no 'thousands' letter equivalent, we tend to show it as a separate indicator. It is similar to people who write the secular year as a two digit rather than a four digit number. Thus, the thousand indicator is shown as the letter with an apostrophe.

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