If U Seek Amy

James Harbeck jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA
Fri Jan 23 01:44:52 UTC 2009

>         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.

It happens that I listened to the whole album online when it first
came out. I was at work and so not looking at the song titles as they
went by. I wasn't listening closely to the song, but when the refrain
came around, I heard "F-U-C-K me" clearly and nothing that made me
think it was anything else. (She also sings "F-U-C-K me tonight..."
And the sounds are pretty clearly [Ef], not [If], and divide more
before than after the K.) After a minute or so I thought, "This is
very cheeky! What _is_ this song?" So I flipped to the website and
read the title. And snorted. Ha. Like that's going to fool anyone.

But apparently it has! Perhaps because they read the title first. The
_Telegraph_ reviewer
even heard something else that I didn't -- and don't -- hear at all:
"To the clockwork synth stomp of 'If U Seek Amy' (which, sung fast,
becomes 'If you're sick of me', or is it 'Eff, you, see, kay me?')
she presumably deliberately hints at the crash-and-burn image of Amy

James Harbeck.

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

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