As has been cogently observed by grammarians, as soon as we add a definite or indefinite article to what we regard as a gerund – whether singular or plural – we automatically transform its verbal sense into a verbal noun.
So clearly we hear the scream of a gerund when Hannibal Lecter says to Clarice Starling, ‘You still wake up sometimes, don't you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs.’
The Pernickity.But do we hear the scream of a gerund when George Saintsbury, in comparing the incomparable, writes: ‘Chocolate-boxity is after all better than Cubism.’ (?)
There’s a hidden definite article here, I suggest, cf. ‘... the pernickity and the fashionable ...’ from the Preface to The Four Gospels in Braid Scots - William A Smith (1901)