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  1. #1
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    Default Would Someone Please Help and Disect This?

    This has been driving me right out of my mind because I think I understand what it means but I do not have the grammatical expertise to rip it apart and explain it to any one.

    So I sincerely hope someone would take a moment to look at this.

    "I remember getting a call from the Fire Department commander, telling me they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, you know, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is just pull it.' And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse."

    I believe the word "it" refers to the building because of the word and, but I do not know how to adequately describe the sentence structure to explain it.

    So I guess the question is how would I illustrate to someone (assuming I am correct), that it refers to an inanimate object. the building? A friend told me it refers to "them" as in a group of people and that does not sound like proper grammar to me.

    Oh and I think "pull it" is in reference to
    pull down
    1. To demolish; destroy: pull down an old office building.
    2. To reduce to a lower level.

    Like: pull (it) down maybe?

    kj

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    Default Re: Would Someone Please Help and Disect This?

    WTC 7 - Silverstein's 'Pull It' Explanation Examined

    ... the US Department of State contends that Silverstein's "pull it" statement refers to withdrawing firefighters from WTC 7.

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    Default Re: Would Someone Please Help and Disect This?

    They also said there were WMD's.

    Thanks for the government lesson.

    I thought I was on a grammar site.

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    Default Re: Would Someone Please Help and Disect This?

    Quote Originally Posted by kokomoj0 View Post

    I thought I was on a grammar site.
    To pull it means to yank it, to take it out. It's an idiom taken from dentistry; e.g., the dentist pull my tooth out; yanked it out; took it out. Cf. Pull the team out; yank 'em out; get them out of there.

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    Default Re: Would Someone Please Help and Disect This?

    There isn't enough evidence in the passage to suggest that anyone here is correct. Everything depends on context but also slang words can be translated differently in countries. However based on previous literature I've read the term "pull it" by special forces could be referring to a specific strategy they have for a particular event. So in this context they could be referring to pulling out their fire control strategy.

    I see no reason why the fire department need to pull down a building (there is no evidence) also it doesn't make sense to refer to people as "it" in this life threatening situation as "it" could make reference to any object and I would imagine they would need to be as clear and as precise as possible in this scenario.

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    Default Re: Would Someone Please Help and Disect This?

    The problem that I have is exactly that.

    "it" seems to be the pronoun referenced to the object building

    The definition would be:
    pull down
    1. To demolish; destroy: pull down an old office building.
    2. To reduce to a lower level.

    The sentence structure and usage seems proper to me.

    I am not really interested in getting into the can of worms of anyones reasoning behind that statement or any other logic beyond "raw sentence structure".

    This has become purely a grammar issue for me in which it appears it references the object building.

    I have difficulties assigning "it" to people in the singular or first person. I also have difficulties assigning "it" to refer to a strategy, such as "pull out".

    As you said it generally refers to an object and objects are generally inanimate I would think.

    .
    Last edited by kokomoj0; 29-Sep-2007 at 18:39.

  7. #7
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Would Someone Please Help and Disect This?

    Quote Originally Posted by kokomoj0 View Post
    The problem that I have is exactly that.

    "it" seems to be the pronoun referenced to the object building

    The definition would be:
    pull down
    1. To demolish; destroy: pull down an old office building.
    2. To reduce to a lower level.

    The sentence structure and usage seems proper to me.

    I am not really interested in getting into the can of worms of anyones reasoning behind that statement or any other logic beyond "raw sentence structure".

    This has become purely a grammar issue for me in which it appears it references the object building.

    I have difficulties assigning "it" to people in the singular or first person. I also have difficulties assigning "it" to refer to a strategy, such as "pull out".

    As you said it generally refers to an object and objects are generally inanimate I would think.

    .
    Soup is correct in her(?) comment.

    "It" in this case refers to the operation of the firefighters trying to contain the blaze. The blaze was out of control. There was loss of life trying to fight it. The people involved figured the risk/benefit to continuing the operation was too great so they pulled the operation (it) out of harms way and just watched the building eventually collapse.

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    Default Re: Would Someone Please Help and Disect This?

    he said:

    They made the decision to pull AND we watched the building collapse.

    When a decision is made to pull down a building the next thing that usally happens is tha building collapses unless someone did not do their job correctly.

    I think what is important here again is the sentence structure.

    No one has pulled this apart to illustrate "pure" sentence structure and doc came the closest by mentioning the term object.

    I was really hoping to get a layout of this sentence in respect to its grammatic components.

    If we do have 2 choices in how this can be grammatically correct I would like to know how to describe this in terms of the structure.

    What I do not understand in that explanation is there appears to be no mention of an operation that could be referred to an an object.

    Combine that with the "and" we watched it collapse seems to point to the collapse as being the solution to insure there was no more loss of life.

    He seemed to be describing a sequence of events in chronological order.

    Disecting this and putting all the necessary labels on the structure of the sentence is a bit beyond my capabilities and that is why I am asking the teachers :)

    .
    Last edited by kokomoj0; 29-Sep-2007 at 19:12.

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    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Would Someone Please Help and Disect This?

    Quote Originally Posted by kokomoj0 View Post
    he said:

    They made the decision to pull AND we watched the building collapse.

    When a decision is made to pull down a building the next thing that usally happens is tha building collapses unless someone did not do their job correctly.

    I think what is important here again is the sentence structure.

    No one has pulled this apart to illustrate "pure" sentence structure and doc came the closest by mentioning the term object.

    I was really hoping to get a layout of this sentence in respect to its grammatic components.

    If we do have 2 choices in how this can be grammatically correct I would like to know how to describe this in terms of the structure.
    .
    hhhhhhmmmmmmmmm....maybe this will satisfy you.

    When using "it", the reference is always to something previous in the sentence. Building is mentioned after the use of "it". The act of fighting the fire preceded the use of the pronoun "it" so this is what "it" refers to.

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    Default Re: Would Someone Please Help and Disect This?

    On September 9, 2005, Mr. Dara McQuillan, a spokesman for Silverstein Properties, issued the following statement [on the issue of Larry Silverstein's "pull it" comment]:

    Seven World Trade Center collapsed at 5:20 p.m. on September 11, 2001, after burning for seven hours. There were no casualties, thanks to the heroism of the Fire Department and the work of Silverstein Properties employees who evacuated tenants from the building. ...
    In the afternoon of September 11, Mr. Silverstein spoke to the Fire Department Commander on site at Seven World Trade Center. The Commander told Mr. Silverstein that there were several firefighters in the building working to contain the fires. Mr. Silverstein expressed his view that the most important thing was to protect the safety of those firefighters, including, if necessary, to have them withdraw from the building.
    Later in the day, the Fire Commander ordered his firefighters out of the building and at 5:20 p.m. the building collapsed. No lives were lost at Seven World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

    As noted above, when Mr. Silverstein was recounting these events for a television documentary he stated, “I said, you know, we've had such terrible loss of life. Maybe the smartest thing to do is to pull it.” Mr. McQuillan has stated that by “it,” Mr. Silverstein meant the contingent of firefighters remaining in the building. [US Department of State]
    Source: See the link in post #2 of this thread
    Grammar
    ...to pull (infinitive verb) it (pronoun; reference subject to interpretation, but to McQuillan, the speaker, "pull it" did not refer to pulling down the building. It refers to the operation lead by the contingent of firefighters remaining in the building.

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