If U Seek Amy

Thu Jan 22 22:51:56 UTC 2009

        The latest Britney Spears controversy is her new single, If U
Seek Amy, bowdlerized on some radio stations to If U See Amy.  There
have, of course, been a number of different songs with the title If You
See Kay (and Joyce earlier used the line in Ulysses), but Britney's song
seems qualitatively different to me, in that it's hard to get a reading
of the song's words other than "F U C K me."  Here's the refrain:

Love me, hate me
Say what you want about me
But all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to If U Seek Amy
Love me, hate me
But can't you see what I see?
All of the boys and all of the girls are begging to If You Seek Amy

        In spite of my reading, I've seen a number of online posts where
commenters mentioned that they did not get the pun until it was pointed
out to them.  In any case, it seems a higher class of controversy for
Britney than she has encountered in the not-too-distant past.

John Baker

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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