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accompany

The first definition that The New Penguin English Dictionary (1986) provides for accompany is, “to go with as an escort or companion.” I’m guessing the writer of that definition didn’t look up escort in the yellow pages. I think the women advertising there are offering to do more than just accompany their customers. For the record, I have no direct evidence of that. It’s just a hunch on my part.

Accompany also means to provide musical accompaniment. Accompaniment was the previous word in this project. I already did a bit of a riff on accompaniment there, so I won’t repeat it here.

Accompany also means to complement or supplement something. For instance, you might say, “The grilled seaweed that accompanied the roasted pig’s intestines was a perfect culinary match because it’s mildly repulsive taste didn’t overpower the intestines’ vileness.”

Of course, if you ever do find yourself saying that, you might want to start frequenting other restaurants.

Accompany can also mean to appear with. For example, at a showing at a modern art gallery, a heart from a formerly live rhinoceros might accompany an avant-garde painter’s work depicting the rottenness and degradation of life as we know it. The artist will likely appear at the show’s opening as soon as he’s able to fight his way past the animal rights protesters.

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