Difference between “party” and “band”in a non-musical setting

HolyUnicorn

Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
Hello:

I have a hard time telling the difference between “party” and “band” in a non-musical setting. Which is better in the following 4 scenarios? Why?

Scenario 1:

I am a mountain-climbing lover. I have banded together with other mountain-climbing lovers, whom I don’t know very well, to climb Mount Everest. We are a band/party of climbers.

Scenario 2:

I am a king. I have sent a band/party of adventurers to explore uncharted wilderness.

Scenario 3:

An earthquake has happened somewhere else. As manager of an NGO, I have sent a party/band of volunteers to help.

Scenario 4:

My city is being invaded by goblins. As the mayor, I have hired a band/party of mercenaries to defend my city.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    A party has the nuance of being more organised and disciplined - a band, less so; it tends to be a loose, or an ad hoc, alliance.

    Scenario 3: a party
    Scenario 4: a band
    My city is being invaded by goblins.
    All too common nowadays... :D
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Agreed.

    Band puts me in mind of Robin Hood and his band of merry men, or a band of wandering minstrels! It has literary and slightly frivolous connotations and I would think it’s rarely appropriate as an alternative to party, which is much more versatile.
     

    HolyUnicorn

    Senior Member
    Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
    How about scenario 1 and scenario 2?
    Scenario 1: a band because we are less organized and there is a frivolous connotation
    Scenario 2: a party because the party is organized
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s really not that clear-cut. You’d do better to appreciate that describing a group of people as a band is rare (unless they’re a band in the musical sense, of course), whereas a group of people travelling and/or attending the same event together can almost always be described as a party – and in some circumstances one particular person or company’s party.
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    How about scenario 1 and scenario 2?
    Scenario 1: a band because we are less organized and there is a frivolous connotation
    Scenario 2: a party because the party is organized
    One of the odd ways the word "party" is commonly used in the USA (AE) is at restaurants and similar public places of entertainment and eating. Using an example is better than describing it:

    At a restaurant:

    Your name is Johnson and your family has 5 members. You go to a restaurant and are asked by the head waiter how many people in your group. You say 5. The waiter goes off to look for a table for your family. Ten minutes later, the waiter comes back since he has found a table for you and to get your attention, he shouts Johnson !! Party of 5 !! and you scurry after him to your table. If you are dining alone, the waiter will shout: Johnson, Party of 1. I doubt this usage of "party" is common in BE.
     
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