Today’s expression is a phrasal verb—and I have to admit that this is not a common phrasal verb at all. It’s absolutely okay to use. It’s just that the situation to use it doesn’t come up a whole lot.
The expression is “to band together.” So in this case, band is a verb—and it goes with the word “together.” “To band together.”
We use “band together” when people or businesses or organizations form a team with the purpose of achieving a goal. Let me say that again. When people or businesses or organizations form a team so that they can achieve something together, then you can say they “band together.”
Earlier today, I said that the manufacturers of radios—at the time, a radio was called a “wireless”—back in the 1920s, a group of radio makers banded together to form the BBC . These companies were competitors: they each sold their own types of wireless radios. The Marconi company was one of them.
But as a group, they realized that they’d all sell more radios if they worked as a team to put good programming on the air. So they banded together. They were competitors, but they formed this team so that they could achieve their goal—to put interesting content on the air so that they could sell more radios.
Back in lesson 377, I asked whether your Uber driver should be an employee of Uber or a contractor . Employees get lots of legal protections that contractors don’t. However, contractors have a lot of flexibility that employees don’t get. Gig economy companies don’t want the complexity or the cost of having employees, so they prefer their workers to be contractors.
Sometimes, governments will propose rules to make gig economy workers employees. So a rideshare driver must be an employee with benefits like paid vacation, legal protections, and things like that. When governments propose rules like that, the big gig economy companies band together to oppose them.
Here in the U.S., the two big rideshare companies are Uber and Lyft. They compete in the market for rides, but when states propose new laws about gig workers, Uber and Lyft band together to oppose the rules. They form a team for just this one purpose—to oppose the proposed rules.
There was just a really terrible hurricane in Florida, Hurricane Ian. It’s the second-worst hurricane in American history, as measured by the amount of property damage. I read lots of stories about neighbors banding together to survive the storm and get to safety. Instead of everyone working individually, the residents of a street all worked together to survive the storm.
They got together to share generators, fuels, medicine, water, food, supplies, and sandbags. And after the storm, they went together as a team to all the houses on the street, so that people wouldn’t deal with all the recovery on their own. The neighbors banded together to get through the storm and its aftermath.
Quote of the Week
Angela Lansbury died this month, an actress, she was 96 years old. She starred in movies, theater, musicals, and television series. She played the character Jessica Fletcher in a series called “Murder, She Wrote.”
Jessica Fletcher, the character, is an older woman in Maine and she—the character—writes mystery novels. But every episode is about someone in Jessica’s world who gets murdered. And she, Jessica, the author, helps the police solve the crime.
And the joke was always that she must live in the most dangerous town in the world. I mean, every week from 1984 to 1996, someone in Jessica Fletcher’s life was murdered!
Anyway, I watched “Murder, She Wrote” with my grandmother when I was a kid. It was on Sunday nights. And Angela Lansbury did a lot more than that show, but that’s how I’ll remember her. So anyway, here’s a quote from the late Angela Lansbury. Here’s what she said about getting older: “It’s like being on a bicycle, I just put my foot down and keep going.”
And she did. She was in 56 movies in addition to all the theater productions and TV shows. Angela Lansbury died at 96 years old this month.
See you next time!
And that brings us to the end of today’s Plain English. Remember, if you’d like to upgrade your listening, one great way to do that is to listen to this very lesson in both the fast and slow versions. It’s great to listen to the slow version as you’re building your skills. But the fast version will really help you upgrade your listening skills. And the fast version is included in the Plain English Plus+ membership. You can join and start listening to the fast lessons at PlainEnglish.com/Plus.
That’s all for today; we’ll be back on Thursday with a new lesson. See you then!