We meet twice a week to practice listening of English language news among English language enthusiasts in our community. We listen to mostly AP news broadcasted through FEN (Far East Net Work).
At yesterday’s meeting, the opinions of the circle members were divided as to whether the female announcer pronounced ‘off’ or ‘up’ in the part of “an attacker blew himself off / up” in the following news.
“A wave of attacks across Iraq has left 46 people dead today. Deadliest assault happened when an attacker blew himself (off / up?) inside a Shiite mosque during a funeral in a former insurgent stronghold south of Bagdad, killing at least 25 people and wounding 40.”
We replayed the tape to make sure of which side heard right, without a conclusion, which partly could be blamed to noises of the tape, not entirely to our ears.
We checked the meaning of the difference of "blow off" and "blow up" in each own dictionary to comfirm which one is more relevant to the context, but nobody seemed to come up with a very clear notion.
A bomber “blew oneself off” or “blew oneself up,” which is grammatically right? If both expressions should be viable, what is the difference between them?