Word Count

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"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.