this is the most resilient I've seen a patient

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
At an asylum, Jack, a patient, is accusing his doctor of inappropriate methods of treatment he's doing to him.
Doctor: I have to say this is the most resilient I've seen a patient undergoing this treatment so far. I had a patient a few years ago. His name was Ted Casey. [goes on to telling a story about that patient]
The Jacket, film

Could you explain to me the bolded part? First, what does "this" refer to — Jack's case or the patient he's going to speak about? And what or who exactly is "resilient"?
Thanks.
 
  • Jack's behavior shows that he, in the dr's opinion, is the most resilient the dr's ever seen in a patient. The suggestion is that Jack, whatever his illness, has bounced back nicely, as shown by his altercation with the dr. In simple terms, "If you're arguing with me, you must be a lot better!"
     
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    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Jack's behavior shows that he, in the dr's opinion, is the most resilient the dr's ever seen in a patient. The suggestion is that Jack, whatever his illness, has bounced back nicely, as shown by his altercation with the dr. In simple terms, "If you're arguing with me, you must be a lot better!"
    That is, are these two equal in meaning?:

    this is the most resilient I've seen a patient = this is the most resilient patient I've seen
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The first is about a patient being/acting resilient in a particular situation. The second says that resiliency is a property of the patient, presumably in all situations.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Sorry I'm still confused. The way this structure was used in the OP is odd, don't you find?

    For example, a similar pattern, from the internet:

    "This is the fastest I've seen a community rebuild."
    "This is the best I’ve seen a Cal team play against UCLA since the days of Pete Newell."

    When a superlative is used like that, it refers to a verb that follows. But there's nothing in the OP sentence for "resilient" to refer to:confused:
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Those aren't the same structure. "Resilient" applies directly to the patient - the patient is resilient. The "undergoing" is not resilient. "Fastest" applies to the "rebuilding." It's not the fastest community - it's the fastest rebuilding by a community.
     

    Minnesota Guy

    Senior Member
    American English - USA
    I think it's actually the normal pronoun use of this: (used to refer to a person, thing, idea, or event present or near or just mentioned or understood, or to give emphasis)

    The "idea, or event" doesn't need to be specific, as long as it's understood by the people in the conversation. I'll have to mull the "resilient" part.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    So I conclude it was not perfect grammar in the OP and we have to guess as to what "resilient" exactly refers to?:)
    No, there is no doubt that "this" is the thing that is currently being discussed. This doesn't seem to be a response to Jack's accusation which is the only context you've given.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    No, there is no doubt that "this" is the thing that is currently being discussed. This doesn't seem to be a response to Jack's accusation which is the only context you've given.
    A little of dialog before the OP, if it's helpful:

    Jack: Don't act like I don't know what's real.
    Doctor: You're suffering from delusions as part of your condition.

    Jack: No, I know what's real, I know. You strapped me into something and stuffed me in a f***ng drawer. It wasn't a dream. I don't know what you're trying to pull, but I wasn't--
    Doctor: [the OP line in #1]
    -------
    By the way, in the original script the OP sentence is absent, i.e., he starts the line with "I had a patient ...".
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I think we--Myr and I--have explained it. Resiliency is being talked of; the amount shown in the behavior of this person and other patients. I have nothing to add.
    It's essential what "resilient" exactly refers to. You said it refers to a quality, while Myridon said it refers directly to the listener:confused:
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It's essential what "resilient" exactly refers to. You said it refers to a quality, while Myridon said it refers directly to the listener:confused:
    A quality of the patient or a quality of how the patient behaved depending on which of the two sentences we're talking about.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    depending on which of the two sentences we're talking about
    What two sentences?...

    Are these two equal in meaning?:

    I have to say this is the most resilient I've seen a patient undergoing this treatment so far.
    I have to say this is the most resilient patient undergoing this treatment I've seen so far.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    What two sentences?...

    Are these two equal in meaning?:

    I have to say this is the most resilient I've seen a patient undergoing this treatment so far.
    I have to say this is the most resilient patient undergoing this treatment I've seen so far.
    No, they are not the exactly the same. The most resilient undergoing (by a patient) vs the most resilient patient (who is undergoing).
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    You're saying exactly the opposite to what you said in #7, I knew this whole OP sentence is confusing:)
    You're confusing yourself. The only thing I confused about is why the doctor is speaking this way to Jack. It sounds like he's speaking to another doctor (or perhaps to himself).
    (Well, that and the "original script" part.)
     
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