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Phonetics with M-E
Demolition call (Ireland)
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A little girl from Dublin calls the demolition company and asks them if they can blow up her school. Really funny phone prank.

The transcription printed on the video is not too accurate so I made my own transcription for the Transcript box here to the right. They have a strong Irish accent with colloquialisms so I'm not 100% sure of everything, but it's better that what you can see on the video.

Notice how the phonetics and the intonation differs from the standard RP in England (see how she pronounces "Dublin"? sounds more like /duplɪn/ than the standard /dʌblɪn/ ) and makes it sound a bit similar to Scottish.

- Hello, who do you call?
- Hi! Is that the demolition place?
- It is, yes.
- Could you help me to destroy my school, please?
- Just bear with me a second.
- Hello?
- Hi.
- Where- What school do you go to?
- I go to a school in Dublin.
- And you want it demolished?
- Yeah
- Ha ha ha
- Do you use a big wrecking ball or how do you knock it down?
- A big wreck- a big ball.
- Right.
- Hold on one wee second, please.
- Hello
- How are you? My name is Becky.
- Yes?
- I have a proposal for you.
- Go ahead
- Are you the demolition man?
- Yes.
- You're the top boss, yeah?
- Go ahead, what’s the fact? … hello?
- I want you to help me destroy my school
- You wanna blow it up?
- Could you blow it up or knock it down?
- Whatever. Whatever. Whatever you want done.
- I’ll blow it up! That would be better. Could you make sure that all my teachers are in there when you knock it down?
- I don't know if I'd get away with that, I don't know.
- Ah, you will! Nobody likes 'em.
- Ha!
- They give me extra homework on a Friday and everything.
- Where are you calling from?
- From Dublin.
- What- Where- What school in Dublin?
- The one that's about to fall down.
- There's a lot of schools in Dublin about to fall down.
- And how much would it cost to knock it to the ground?
- It depends on how big it is.
- Give me a ball park finger… figure
- ….. ha ha ha… “give me a ball park finger!”… ha ha ha… oh geez!
- Is this a demolition company or a joke factory?
- It’s a joke factory at the moment. It’s a joke factory…
- Listen, are you gonna come and knock my school down or what?
- Actually can you fax me through a photograph or a site plan or something?
- Right. I'll fax it through. A plan of the school and my teacher's names.
- Yeah. No problem. Yeah.
- And you just make sure that they're all in the building when you knock it down!
- You put all of the names on it, I’ll give you a page for each individual teacher.
- Yeah. Brilliant!
- Yeah!
- When the school falls down? Will it make a crash or a wallop?
- Will start fire on both sides or make a big bang!
- Sounds good. Oh listen, I'll talk to you later, top man.
- Same. Good luck, page. You look after yourself.
- Fill your boots, man!
- Eh? Good luck. He he!
- See you after!

PLACE= (coll.) Company, organisation.

JUST BEAR WITH ME A SECOND= (formal) Wait a moment.

DEMOLISHED= Destroyed. To demolish a building or construction is to destroy it on purpose.

A WRECKING BALL- A huge metal ball suspended at the end of a large chain and operated by a machine to destroy buildings (see picture). To wreck is to destroy by collision.

KNOCK DOWN= To make something fall down to the ground by hitting (knocking) it, either willing or accidentally.

HOLD ON ONE SECOND= Wait a moment. WEE= (Scottish, Irish) Small, little.
We can use “hold on” in any situation, but this expression originated in telephone conversations and it is still very much used there.

GO AHEAD= (informal) Continue; do it; tell me.
A very common expression used to give permission or to encourage someone to do something. But in this conversation, the intonation suggests that it is actually a bit rude and shows impatience, it means "come on, go straight to the point and don't waste my time":

THE TOP BOSS= The most important man in the company, the boss of the bosses.

WHAT’S THE FACT?= What’s the situation? What’s happening?

WANNA= (coll.) Want to.

BLOW IT UP= To blow something up is to make it explode or to destroy it with an explosion, a bomb or something.
Here the girl is offering two opposite possibilities, both with the same result: blowing the building up (make it explode, so the rubble is sent up in the air) or knocking it down (knocking the walls and pillars till it crumbles and the rubble falls down to the ground). Either way, in the end you get a destroyed building down on the ground.

WHATEVER= It doesn’t matter what.
Whatever you want done = any way you want it done, either way is fine, both ways are fine.

GET AWAY WITH= If you do something wrong and you get away with it, you are not punished (for example because nobody knows it was you, or because the laws don’t punish that).

'EM= (coll) THEM.

YOU WILL!= You will get away with that, don’t worry, it’s fine.
She means that he need not worry, nobody will punish him because everybody will be happy with it.

BALL PARK FINGER= What makes this expression so funny for everyone is that the little girl makes a mistake. The correct expression is “ball-park figure”, an expression (usually American) which means “a rough estimate”, an approximate number. (figure = number)

OH GEEZ!= (esp. AmE, also “oh gee/jee”) An exclamation, like “oh my God!”.

OR WHAT?= (conversational) A very common expression that we add at the end of some questions which is equivalent to “yes or no?”:
- Do you like it or what? (do you like it? Yes or no?)
- Is he tired or what? (is he tired or he has a different problem?)
- Are you going to come with me or what?
In some contexts it may sound cheeky, like here.

FAX IT THROUGH= Send by fax.

NO PROBLEM= Ok.

BRILLIANT!= (BrE) Cool! Great!

A CRASH= A noisy and violent destruction, like two cars crashing together.

A WALLOP= (coll.) A hard blow, like when a boxer hits someone.
When the girl says “a crash or a wallop” she means, the sound is going to be something big and theatrical, like in the movies, like a plain crashing against a mountain, or is it going to be just a sharp bang, like a door suddenly closed by the wind.

FIRE= In this case he means “an explosion”.

SOUNDS GOOD= (coll.) I like what you say.

TOP MAN= The most important man in a place.

PAGE= (coll. Irish) A word used a girl.

YOU LOOK AFTER YOURSELF= To look after yourself is to be careful and take care. We often use this expression when saying goodbye for some time (in writing or talking): “look after yourself” or more often, “take care”. The YOU at the beginning is to make the imperative form more emphatic.

FILL YOUR BOOTS= (coll.) A call to action, even a challenge in this context. It means, “do your best”, “prove that you can do it well”. This expression comes from cowboy movies and it means something like, “you have big man boots, show me that you are manly enough to deserve those boots and fill them”. This expression, in the mouth of a little girl, certainly surprised the top man and caught him unawares, that’s why he says “Eh?” before he can react.

SEE YOU AFTER= (coll. Irish) See you later.

 
 
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