Thread: TIL...
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Old August 7 2012, 03:53 PM   #170
Holdfast
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Re: TIL...

trekkiedane wrote: View Post
It is widely known that an Englishman would carry an umbrella by holding it in the middle and having the pointy end point forward
This is correct. The reason is obvious; you always know where the pointy end is, and it remains under close control. No Markov "accidents" possible this way!

but it's also used to carry an umbrella 'as a walking-stick' -how exactly does that work?
Umbrellas aren't really designed to be used as walking sticks if they're the more typical two-piece "fit-up" style. They tend to end up bending under body weight or the thin point catches a gutter or groove. You really need a solid-stick brolly for that; they're sturdier and have wider/blunter point. I often use my brolly in a similar fashion to you so got a solid-stick as my dressy black brolly. My casual navy one is a fit-up though, and I must admit to abusing it by using it the same way.

If you use a brolly as a stick, the strictest person would say that you should use it the way you would a cane, for support when needed, and not otherwise.

However, personally, I tend to adopt the same rather more louche habits around a brolly as you do!

One other thing a brolly is good for - even if it's a bit peremptory - is for subtly guiding pedestrian traffic when there's that momentary "you first, no you, oh I insist" type of shuffle. It makes it obvious which direction you're moving in.
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