“Q” to the World

I’m listening to Lily Allen’s new album, but I have to confess that I chose the “Clean” version. One of the songs that was obviously edited was the political protest song “F**k You” (let’s just say I’m not expecting Allen to vote Republican soon).

I’ve heard a lot of edited songs throughout the years, but this may be the best. Normally the offending word is changed or just replaced with a silly sound, but here there a silly sound, but only partial deletion which leads to the trippy effect of Allen singing “Q very much. Please don’t stay in in touch….Q…Q…Q.”

Phonetically it’s a very simply explanation because the final /k/ and /yu/ of “you” combine to form /kyu/ which is how we pronounce the letter name “Q” (i.e. /fʌk yu/ ➔ /kyu/) – it’s confirmation that there really is a /y/ there, even if it’s not spelled. It’s also an good case of how phonological processes can cross word boundaries, but it’s also interesting that no one has taken advantage of this before. Maybe it’s something that got noticed in the final sound edits.

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