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    #1

    the thinking / the thought

    The following sentences are taken from Bill Bryson's A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING. I'd like to know if we can use 'the thought' in place of 'the thinking' and what is the difference between these two nouns. (I tentatively understand 'thinking' as the process of 'think' and 'thought' as the 'outcome' of 'think' but I'm not sure.)
    Many thanks in advance.


    Once in a great while, a few times in history, a human mind produces an observation so
    acute and unexpected that people can’t quite decide which is the more amazing—the fact or
    the thinking of it.

    By the 1960s scientists had grown sufficiently frustrated by how little they understood of
    the Earth’s interior that they decided to try to do something about it. Specifically, they got the
    idea to drill through the ocean floor (the continental crust was too thick) to the Moho
    discontinuity and to extract a piece of the Earth’s mantle for examination at leisure. The
    thinking
    was that if they could understand the nature of the rocks inside the Earth, they might
    begin to understand how they interacted, and thus possibly be able to predict earthquakes and
    other unwelcome events.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: the thinking / the thought

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Once in a great while, a few times in history, a human mind produces an observation so
    acute and unexpected that people can’t quite decide which is the more amazing—the fact or
    the thinking of it.
    In this sentence, 'thought' would have a completely different meaning. As it is, what is amazing is that somebody thought of it. If we used 'thought' it would suggest that the idea/concept of the observation is amazing.

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