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#142270 04/21/05 01:30 PM
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Would you say 'sofa' or 'couch' (or something else)? Are they the same things? Is there a material difference or just a regional one... or some other social issue at *play?


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I won't be able to answer your question until I be-52 (next year).


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I've used both of those, as well as davenport...

heh.



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Although there might be technical distinction recognized by furniture makers or some such, I've always heard and used davenport, couch and sofa interchangably. "Loveseat", however, is reserved for couch with only room for two.

My American Heritage Dictionary defines a "couch" as a sofa which a patient lies while undergoing psychoanalysis or psychiatric treatment (Wow! That's news to me! Although, calling the multiple-occupant upholstered seats in our house "couches" now make sooo much more sense.); it defines a "sofa" as a long upholstered seat, usually with a back and arms; it defines a "davenport" as a large sofa, often convertible to a bed, or a small desk.


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I use sofa and couch interchangeably, and recognize (but never use) davenport. And, yes, loveseat is a small couch for two. On first reading, I thought the definition of davenport said it's a sofa that can be converted to a bed or desk - which I found rather odd! Overlooked the comma.


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I've just been reading a murder mystery (about antique dealers; who knew they were such a violent bunch?)in which a davenport is described as a "vertical desk with drawers down one side". But I, too, understand it to be like "couch" (which is what I use, rather than "sofa"). I grew up with the word "chesterfield", and I understand this is a Canadian use.


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Interchangeable here ...


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The words used to describe the large soft piece of furniture on which more than one person can sit at a time are a SECRET CODE designed to inform the listener about the educational background of the speaker. It works like this:

The thing = high school dropout

Davenport (or Daveno) = high school graduate

Couch = community college graduate

Sofa = B.A. from a state college or university

Settee = one of those Eastern colleges which admitted only women.

Chesterfield = Ivy League degree or pretensions to one




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And I thought a Chesterfield didn't seat a butt.


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The thing = high school dropout

You have to be in awe of a group of people who can use so few words to refer to so many things and still understand each other. If it's animate it's 'dude,' if inanimate, 'thing.' The level of intelligence must be well beyond those poor folk who need to be taught in school.


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