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BACKPorch TRIVIA FINDS FACTS

Is the thing you sit on in your living room called a 'sofa' or a 'couch?'

Sofa vs. Couch Explained In the course of history, mankind has been faced with a handful of debates so contentious as to risk tearing apart the fabric of society. Do aliens really exist? What color was that dress? Is the thing you sit on in your living room called a sofa or a couch? Luckily, that last question does, in fact, have a definitive answer. Which is: a sofa. Not a couch. Period. Why? According to Merriam-Webster, a “sofa” is defined as "a long upholstered seat usually with arms and a back and often convertible into a bed.” ”Couch,” on the other hand, is simultaneously ”an article of fsurniture for sitting or reclining,’ "a couch on which a patient reclines when undergoing psychoanalysis’ and ”the den of an animal (such as an otter).” So one of these words refers specifically to an upholstered seat, while the other might likewise be an article of furniture — or where you spend an hour at the shrink, or perhaps the home of an otter. You decide what's more appealing.

Then there’s the fact that the word "couch” just sounds weird. It’s like saying slacks instead of pants or purse instead of handbag. Sure, people will know what you're talking about, but they'll probably think you're a little off. In a recent and not-entirely-scientific poll, a full 100 percent of experts — in this case, interior designers — agreed that "sofa" is the preferred nomenclature. For many of them, the mere mention of a “couch” was met with horror. “It sounds like something covered in plastic at your grandma’s house,” said Courtney McLeod, of Right Meets Left Interior Design. “Couch rhymes with slouch!” proclaimed Timothy Brown. Per Charleston’s Michael Mitchell and Tyler Hill, ”’Couch’ sounds less expensive, whereas ’sofa’ is elegant and reserved.”

Laura Gregory, president of North Carolina–based upholstery company O. Henry House, felt similarly. "Couch is always more low-end,” she said. “It’s kind of a joke at our house — even my kids will correct people when they say couch!” Andrew Howard suggested that steps be taken to ensure the proper use of ”sofa,” stating, ”You should not be a designer if you say 'couch,' and I feel strongly about it.” And for Scot Meacham Wood, the debate isn’t even a debate at all: “There’s nothing to have an opinion about—it’s a sofa. Stop. The end.”

So there you have it. It’s a sofa, not a couch. Unless it’s a love seat. Or a settee. Or a banquette. But we’ll leave that for another day. Emma Bazilian Senior Articles Editor, House Beautiful Reprinted with permission. CAPITAL AREA REALTOR ® — Spring 2019 51

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Capital Area REALTOR® Spring 2019  

This issue features women in real estate and highlights from the GCAAR Recognition Awards.

Capital Area REALTOR® Spring 2019  

This issue features women in real estate and highlights from the GCAAR Recognition Awards.

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