the most aggressive nationalism

vladv

Senior Member
Russian-Russia
By a rather intricate division of land into publicly and privately owned, Pestel hoped to achieve general security without undermining property rights. His political, social, and economic radicalism went hand in hand with the most aggressive nationalism. He demanded the ruthless Russification of all territories comprised in the Russian empire.
Micheal Florinsky "Russia. History and interpretation"
Would it be better to write "most agressive nationalism" without the. To me the the most aggressive nationalism implies that there were other nationalisms. Please comment.
 
  • Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the King's
    Wrong in BE too. "The most" qualifies the degree of aggression in what looks to me like the standard use of the article in this kind of gradation from the comparative to the superlative form of the adjective.
    One kind of nationalism may be aggressive, another kind may be more aggressive, and a third kind may be the most aggressive.
    The with superlatives
    Nouns with superlative adjectives normally have the article the. Note that the is dropped if there is a possessive.
    - You are the most beautiful person I have ever met. (NOT You are most beautiful person I have ever met.) (englishgrammar.org)
     

    vladv

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Wrong in BE too. "The most" qualifies the degree of aggression in what looks to me like the standard use of the article in this kind of gradation from the comparative to the superlative form of the adjective.
    One kind of nationalism may be aggressive, another kind may be more aggressive, and a third kind may be the most aggressi
    So the most agreessive may mean not the most agressive of a certain number of things implied, but a very high degree of some quality? He is a most kind person ( very kind)- he is the most kind person (the comparsion with other people is implied). Please comment
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the King's
    Yes, aggressive to the highest degree. And yes, your examples with "most kind" are correct, but out of context, "the most kind person" (and there's no apparent comparison with anyone else) may be entirely synonymous with "a most kind person":
    He really is the most kind person and he would do anything for anyone else, anything. He loved with all of his heart and all of his being."
    In the same way, we can say "he really is the kindest person" (and there's no evident comparison):
    “It can sound like I’m fitting him for his halo but he really is the kindest person,” Sigmund continued. “My son has had heart problems and my mom has had health issues and he is the first one to call to check up on you, to offer his hand and say, ‘Is there anything I can do?’ ” (startribune)
    Perhaps we understand "the most kind person [of all the people that exist]", but that comparison isn't stated and may not even be felt. Maybe we just understand "kind to the highest degree".
     
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