Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Deep-Seated Meaning Of The American Sofa

This article in NPR talks about the meaning of the American sofa. It starts off by talking about two sofas: one that New York Knicks Jeremy Lin had slept on before his rise to fame and the other belonged to Steve Jobs. Jobs wife told a biographer how they would often discuss the purpose of a sofa.

The article uses Lin and Jobs to introduce the topic, but goes on to examine the sofa further. It talks about the functions, meaning, and different styles of sofas. I know the one thing I miss while I'm at school is the comfortable couch in the family room at my house. This article proved an interesting read and brought up a few good questions.

I'm a sucker for headlines, and this one caught my eye. The article is relatively short and I enjoyed the conversational tone. Whether or not it is newsworthy is a whole other issue. Do you think this article is newsworthy? If it is newsworthy, what makes it newsworthy? Do you think this article is focused on a certain audience? What could the author have done to improve the story?


  1. I loved and hated this story.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. It was interesting and made me ask a lot of questions in my own mind. It pulled me in by touching on two recent stories, Steve Jobs and Jeremy Lin. It showed me a personal side to those stories that I might not get from another story.

    However, I hated the structure. I thought towards the middle it pulled in too many parts. It talked about Steve Jobs, Jeremy Lin, different furniture companies, Norman Chad, Benjamin Parzybok... and the list continues.

    I do not believe it was newsworthy. While it was telling me some news information, it wasn't information that was going to have a huge impact on my life. Because it really wasn't newsworthy the conversational tone made it okay. I just really enjoyed reading it and I guess readers need a break from the hard hitting news stories sometimes.

  2. What I liked most about this article was the way in which it was written. IT was crafted so well and each sentence had a picture that the words painted. Though couches aren't news and neither is the fact that Steve Jobs and Jeremy Lin each owned a couch/slept on it, the article held appeal for anyone who chose to read it. The author connected the reader to their own couches and the memories that they hold.

    I thought that it could have been a little shorter, sometimes the information seemed like a stretch, but I really liked the ending about the future of furniture because it left the reader with something new to think about.

  3. I really enjoyed this article. I'm an NPR fan so I was immediately drawn to reading this article. The writer does a great job of grabbing your attention by using two celebrities that have been in the news recently.

    The writing style of the piece was illustrative and creative. I could follow and it brought me back to memories on the couch that has been in my house ever since I can remember. In the beginning I thought-how strange to be writing about a couch-but it was an article that I could pick up and read the whole way through. A couch is something thats goes unnoticed but is used in our everyday lives.

    The sources were great, using an expert, one of his examples family member (Steve Jobs wife), and a friend, who at the time was recently going through a divorce and needed to find a sofa.

    The image NPR used was also great. It was eye catching, modern, and made you want to read because why would they put a picture of a couch as the picture?

    Anyone could relate to this article; who doesn't have a couch? Also, it is not so much newsworthy but rather something easy to click on and read during a time when you want to relax.

  4. Even though I'm not sure if I would consider this "newsworthy," I think this article was a very well-written, compelling article that was a nice casual read. I really liked how they started by talking about famous people (Jeremy Lin and Steve Jobs) and ended by talking with average people about their couches.

    A lot of memories come to mind when I think of my couch at home, or even my bed in my dorm that has been used as a couch on multiple occasions to watch movies and YouTube videos. My most prominent memory of a couch was when I was playing with my life-size Raggity Anne and Raggity Andy dolls when I was three, sitting on the back of my couch and fell backwards and broke my arm.

    However, most of my couch memories are positive, which was very relatable to the NPR article. Personally I like reading fluff pieces like this even more than real news. This could have been a very boring article if the writing had been poor but I thought it was executed well, which made it entertaining and fun.

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  6. My first thought when I finished the last sentence: "Well, that was...weird." Who thinks of writing an article like this? It is not really that newsworthy at all.

    However, it put a smile on my face. When I was asked about my favorite couch, I could quickly answer the question. I can easily understand the reporter's point. Couches, in a weird way, really are big parts of our lives.

    Stories like this are necessary. Today, we all continue to hear horrible story after horrible story. Someone died. Someone else robbed a store. Somewhere between our readings of those awful stories, we need to read something a bit "lighter," something that can make us smile. This story proves that even the most unnecessary stories can have big impacts.

  7. The article was not newsworthy at all, but that doesn't mean that it didn't deserve to be in a newspaper.
    I thought it was really good and I enjoyed reading it. As a college student, it definitely made me think of my couch back home and all the memories I have on it. It's one of those 'refreshing' articles you read to take a break from all the other violence, corruption, and other nonsense that goes on in this world. I think the news needs more stories like this, things that aren't really newsworthy, but help the audience get engaged more in what they're reading or seeing. It was a very well done.

  8. I liked the idea of the article. I felt that the author didn't do a sufficient job of tying the two famous sofas into the rest of the story though. The story itself is interesting, but I think its too lengthy for such a mundane topic. I thought the author used too many clique terms, especially in the opening paragraph (such as "Linsomnia", please, and "beast").
    I also thought it took to long to get to the nutgraph of the purposes of sofas.

  9. I'm gonna go ahead and say this article has no newsworthiness at all. But I still enjoyed the light heartlessness of the article. I never imagine there could be so much to talk or write about when the topic of discussion is about sofas.

    I loved the beginning paragraph, it pulled a reader in withere you are a sports fan, a technology fan or if you share a genuine love for sofas like this journalist does. I also loved the conversational tone he brought when writing this article. And lastly I loved all the history he told about sofas. I guarantee I'm not the only one who didn't know half the stuff about sofas until I read this article.

  10. I really enjoyed this article. I wouldn't classify this as newsworthy, but it was still very entertaining, creative and unique, which is why I enjoyed it so much.

    I think this article is relatable to everyone in some way, not just one particular audience. We all have some item of furniture that's too old, worn out, and overused that still sits in the house because we can't bare to throw it out, even if it is not a sofa.

    I thought the author's writing style was very good and I liked how he used Jeremy Lin and Steve Jobs as anecdotes at the beginning. It was a good way to start. Overall, the story was well done.

  11. I liked the writing style of the piece because the conversational tone showed that the writer didn't take themselves or the topic too seriously. I like the idea of taking such a mundane object and expanding upon how it relates to our lives and those in the news.

    I really liked the closing paragraph as well because it wrapped the whole story into a short, clever line. It really captured he story's attitude.