The Intersection of Martini & Grammar

Geoffrey Pullum, writing for Linga Franca, on why "but" has no place in 007's famous phrase:

It's true that the phrase shaken but not stirred gets over a million Google hits, but it is not a phrase James Bond ever uttered, and most of the hits that I looked at were using the phrase in extended or metaphorical ways that had nothing to do with martinis.

Bond's signature vodka martini was ordered "shaken, not stirred." That shorter phrase gets more than two million hits, huge numbers of them about Bond. The phrase that The Economist uses is subtly wrong for a martini. The word but is the problem. Let me explain.

As a writer and English nerd, I very much enjoy these types of pieces. Good stuff.

(via Daring Fireball)