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    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 319


    Then something strange happened. When the results were published in 1952, no one took much notice. The same thing happened when a similar study appeared in the United States. The survey was still considered to be quite small, and the results seemed too simple. Even the most eminent health officials refused to believe that lung cancer was largely self-inflicted. “This wasn’t a result of pressure from tobacco industry, “ Doll says, “although they did make sure that, if ever there was an article about it, it was accompanied by another one from a doctor who said that the link was a load of nonsense.”

    What does they refer to, the most eminent health officials, tobacco industry or both of them?
    I think it is the most eminent health officials. But I’m not sure. Would you please teach me the answer and the reason.

    Thank you very much

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: they

    Since "they" are making sure that any adverse comment on smoking is countered by an article rubbishing the findings, I would say it refers to the tobacco industry, but equally it could be your interpretation.

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      • England
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    • Join Date: Feb 2005
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    Re: they

    I would agree with Anglika; the tobacco industry seems the more likely antecedent, since both "(the) tobacco industry" and "they" are Doll's words, inside the quotation, whereas "eminent health officials" are the writer's words, and outside the quotation.

    However, if the writer was paraphrasing Doll's words, when he talked about the health officials, the "they" might well refer back to the latter: in which case, the ambiguity would be the inadvertent result of a clumsy edit.


    • Join Date: Nov 2006
    • Posts: 319

    Re: they

    Thank you very much, Anglika and MrPedantic. I understand that.


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