Word Choice – Lunch/Luncheon and Company/Accompany

BizWritingTip reader: “I’m very confused as to when to use the words ‘lunch’ and ‘luncheon,’ ‘company,’ and ‘accompany.’ The first two seem to have the same meaning.”

BizWritingTip response: The words lunch and luncheon refer to the lightest meal of the day, normally consumed at mid-day. However, a luncheon is more formal. I would expect it to be a sit-down affair with guests, and there would probably be speeches.

Lunch is more casual and can be eaten alone or with others.

company is an assembly of people, a commercial enterprise, or an organization. I can also place other words around it to change the meaning.


In company with (together with)
Keep company with (associate frequently)
Part company with (separate or disagree)

Accompany is used as a verb and means to “go with,” to “supplement,” or to “serve as a companion.” When used in a musical sense, it means “to support.”


My mentor will accompany me on my first sales call.
She was accompanied by a nurse.
The singer accompanied himself on the piano