Why You’re Using Umbrellas Wrong

Recently a student was trying to think of the word umbrella. They knew the French word (parapluie), but that didn’t help them to remember or figure out what the English word is. And as I thought about the word umbrella, I completely understood why: it actually has nothing to do with rain at all.

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Come in out of the Rain

Earlier this evening, while WhatsApping with my friend about staying in or going out, I tapped out the following phrase: best to stay in out of the rain (we’re staying in). I didn’t think anything about it, until I happened to glance at it as I was putting my phone down. My eye zoomed in on the middle, specifically on these two words: …in out…. Hang on a second, I said, that can’t be!

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No, Seriously Rain, Go Away!

A quick update, 16.45pm: maybe more like two seasons in one day after all. What a difference a day a few hours makes. And this isn’t the first spot of rain today.

You might not be able to see it, but there’s a light but persistent drizzle falling, and of course I didn’t bring a coat because it was such a beautiful morning. Harrumph!

Rain, Rain, Go Away

This was the view from my bus seat at about 7pm last night, somewhere in the midlands of Ireland. It’s not an uncommon sight in Ireland, especially here in the west. What’s always seemed strange to me is that we appear to be surprised when it rains here, even though it happens most of the year round (and I include myself in that we). Any morning when I wake up and see it’s raining I’m disappointed, even if it’s been raining for five or six days in a row. Maybe it’s that morning optimism that makes me hope it might be nice!

Regardless of whether we’re surprised or not, we do like to talk about the weather, but I suppose that’s pretty universal. It’s a useful topic for small talk with someone we don’t know: it’s never controversial and it’s easy to talk about. Continue reading