Word Count

Writers Talk About Writing

"Ban Together" or "Band Together"?

Welcome to the latest in our series of quick tips on usage and style shared by Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl. In this tip, Mignon has some advice on confusion over "ban together" versus "band together."

The correct phrase is band together.

When band is a noun, one common meaning is a group of people who have joined together for some purpose. Think of a rock band, the movie Band of Brothers, or the Silicon Valley investing group known as the Band of Angels.

Therefore, it's not much of a stretch to remember that when people join together (to form a band, the noun) they are banding together (using band, the verb).

Phrases in which a word ending with a d is followed by a word starting with t are often misheard. For example, the correct phrases are used to and iced tea, but people sometimes think they should be use to and ice tea because it's difficult to hear the separation between the d and t.

See the Eggcorn Database for some examples of the ban together error. And for more on use(d) to and ice(d) tea, check out Merrill Perlman's column, "Ice Water, Ice Cream, but No Ice Tea!"

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Mignon Fogarty is better known as Grammar Girl. She is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network, author of Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing, and the creator of the iOS game Grammar Pop. She is also the Donald W. Reynolds Chair of Media Entrepreneurship in the Reynolds School of Journalism and Advanced Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. Click here to read more articles by Mignon Fogarty.

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Comments from our users:

Thursday October 2nd 2014, 1:00 AM
Comment by: sujata S. (India)
It's very nice information thanks mam
Friday October 3rd 2014, 3:57 AM
Comment by: Daniel S. (Bristol United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
I had no idea there was ever any confusion here! What on earth would "ban together" mean..?
Friday October 3rd 2014, 1:50 PM
Comment by: John E. (Mechanicsburg,, PA)
One interpretation for "ban together" is perhaps exemplified in the news recently regarding the update to the College Board
U. S. History standards to be covered in the SAT exam. A local school board has indicted U. S. History should not include any coverage that would reflect "negatively" upon how "we" (or the rest of the world, for that matter) are perceived. Shades of 1984! Let us "band together" to " ban together" that which we disagree with. We must not expose our children to any part of our history that appears unpatriotic, unheroic, or to question our country's unfailing rightness in world or civil affairs.
Fortunately, the local teachers, parents, and students in that school district are protesting the heavy hand and empty minds
of the few who "know best what is good and patriotic"-- they are "banding together" to keep history full of its truth, not just
half truths. John E., Mechanicsburg, PA

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