What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of an Umbrella?

by Cathy Boyd

Umbrellas provide shade as well as protection from the rain.

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The umbrella has been around for thousands of years protecting people from both rain and shine. The word umbrella comes from the Latin word "umbra" which means shade or shadow. Umbrellas were originally intended to protect people from the sun. Evidence of this exists in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Greece, China and Assyria. The Chinese are credited with the use of umbrellas designed specifically for rain protection. There are many advantages and disadvantages of the umbrella.

Advantages of Umbrellas

An umbrella is designed to protect you from the rain. Nothing can cause bad hair days or prevent you from getting soaking, ringing wet like an umbrella. An umbrella is also designed to protect you from the harmful effects of the sun. The umbrella could be considered the very first sun block, invented solely to prevent sunburn wrinkles and skin aging. An umbrella is portable, lightweight and easily transportable from place to place. Umbrellas are affordable. Of course prices can vary, but a reliable, durable umbrella can often be purchased for less than $10 -- a good investment should rain be forecast.

Some Disadvantages of Umbrellas

The wind is no friend of the umbrella. Many an umbrella has seen its demise when the wind picks up and destroys it. An umbrella is shaped in such a way that it could potentially put someone`s eye out. If you happen to be the only person in possession of an umbrella during a torrential downpour, everyone around you may expect it to be shared with them.

More Disadvantages

Sooner or later the rain will stop and you will find yourself stuck holding the umbrella. Coming in out of the rain, the umbrella will need to be stowed away wet. The puddle it creates could potentially become a health and safety risk. You had best be careful where you store a wet umbrella.

Theres nothing worse than having someones umbrella obstruct your view. Spectators will often use the umbrella as a shade during a sporting event such as a tennis match or soccer game. This works to the owner`s advantage but is annoying for the other spectators.

If you are the superstitious sort, you may believe it to be bad luck if you open an umbrella up indoors. Better have the salt shaker ready.

Like a Good Neighbor...

An umbrella is like a good friend. It's right there when you need it, and waiting in the wings when you don't. It sticks with you through rain and shine, protecting you from the sun's harmful rays and the sky's torrential downpours. They are dependable and practical, but if not handled properly, they have the potential to cause harm.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Cathy Boyd has been writing professionally since 2005. She was a contributor to the local community newspaper in her hometown of London, Ontario, as well as a finalist in the "Globe and Mail" Journalism Dream contest. Boyd has a degree in business from the University of New Brunswick and a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Western Ontario.