To say that I hate umbrellas is possibly an understatement. I find almost everything about them objectionable. Primarily, they don’t deliver on their purported purpose which I regard as criminally negligent.
Answer me this: have you ever used an umbrella and stayed dry? If you said yes you’re a liar because that’s just not possible. What umbrellas (maybe) do is prevent part of your head and shoulders from getting wet, but then all that water just runs down the sides and lands on your thighs, leaving your midsection totally soaked.
My secondary objection comes from people’s total lack of umbrella etiquette. In a sea of umbrella-holders, everyone seems to act as if they are the only person there. If one umbrella bumps into another, everyone gets sprayed or doused. The idea of having one person go over and another under is totally lost on every person I’ve ever seen on a rain-soaked sidewalk.
I won’t have it. My solution is a rain coat, waterproof shoes and a baseball cap to keep the rain out of my eyes. After years of using this technique, I find that I’m not any more wet than anyone else and I’m certainly more unencumbered since carrying around an umbrella is possibly the biggest pain in the ass of all.
As a word, I also don’t care for “umbrella.” It comes from the Italian word for shade, ombra, which isn’t that bad, but is totally unrelated to rain.
Conversely, the Spanish paraguas and the French parapluie are both “water-stopper” which makes total sense. The word parasol, incidentally, was directly adopted from the Spanish for sun-stopper which is also logical and therefore acceptable.