I wonder if there's any rule behind using articles, both definite and indefinite, before "-ing" nouns, i.e. drinking, killing, upbringing and so on.
I feel like most of them can go both ways; I wouldn't mind saying:
- My friend says that his parents didn't manage to give him a proper upbringing.
But, on the other hand, I don't feel like there's anything off with:
- Proper upbringing is key.
Another such case presents itself with the word "killing".
- Killing may seem difficult at first, but soldiers claim you can get used to it.
But, in a Dropkick Murphys' song, they go with:
- The killing and dying - it was all done in vain.