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Hey Matt:

What's the difference between a couch and a sofa?

-- Jay, Bay Park

Oh, maybe a hundred bucks. Actually, to Pa Alice they're pretty much the same thing, since he can easily fall sleep in front of the TV on either one. But if you take the question seriously and waste time looking for an answer, you'll find that a sofa is a sort of glorified couch. Couch: Think of an upholstered bench-like thing, sometimes backless and armless. Sofa: a similar long upholstered seat, usually with arms and back and often convertible into a bed. Oddly, the name for the bench-like couch is French, couche, "bed." The bed-like sofa is Arabic, suffah, "bench." According to Pa Alice, La-Z-Boy is American, "beer."

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