MSNBC headline: "Songbirds migrate faster than thought".
In case some alert editor modifies it:
(Click on the image for a larger version.)
In other thought-related news, Alec Marantz gave an interesting talk this afternoon at Penn on "Resultatives and re-resultatives", and during the question period, there was some discussion of the fact that none of the things that you can re-think (views, positions, etc.) can actually be thought in the first place.
For example, let's pick a few examples at random from today's news:
We may need to rethink our way of dealing with this problem.
…the weekend's fires "show that many communities need to rethink the notion of who lives in a bushfire zone …"
Mr Bush said any plan to rethink financial mechanisms should "preserve the foundations of democratic capitalism" …
None of these work without the re-:
*We may need to think our way of dealing with this problem.
*…the weekend's fires "show that many communities need to think the notion of who lives in a bushfire zone …"
*Mr Bush said any plan to think financial mechanisms should "preserve the foundations of democratic capitalism" …
After a moment's thought, I wasn't able to come up with any other verbs with this property, that you can re-VERB things that you can't VERB in the first place. But I bet that there are some out there.
[Update: I'm happy to see people having fun in the comments section, but I'm afraid that I didn't express myself very clearly. What I found interesting about "re-think" is that it's a case of re+VERB where the VERB exists as a free form, apparently the same word with the same basic meaning as in the re+VERB combination, but where you can talk about re+VERB-ing something that you can't felicitously talk about VERB-ing in the first place. Thus all the examples like remark, remind, retire, reneg, research, remunerate, etc., etc., are entirely irrelevant. Likewise the discussion of cran-morphs and other sorts of bound morphemes. "Re-live" is more like it, though.
Many of the OED's early examples involve re-thinking things that can be thought, often explicitly – especially, of course, the intransitive cases:
1748 RICHARDSON Clarissa (1811) VII. 27 Think, my dear, and re-think.
1808 JANE AUSTEN Lett. (1884) I. 372, I cannot help thinking and re-thinking of your going to the island so heroically.
1853 LYNCH Self-Improv. vi. 148 You must think and observe; re-think and re-observe.
And the same is true for some more recent uses:
a1942 B. MALINOWSKI Sci. Theory of Culture (1944) iii. 19 At times the thinker does nothing else but to re-think..what the primitive might have or ought to have thought or felt under certain conditions.
But some examples certainly do involve re-thinking the (now) unthinkable:
a1700 KEN Edmund Poet. Wks. 1721 II. 163 All the pass'd Song distinctly he re-thought.
1957 Times Lit. Suppl. 6 Dec. 729/2 A summons, in effect, to the younger German historians, which only a few of them have heeded, to rethink the whole of Germany's recent past.
1973 Daily Tel. 28 Sept. 7/1 Mrs Thatcher last night promised to rethink methods of awarding grants to married women students.
1977 F. YOUNG in J. Hick Myth of God Incarnate ii. 30 In any attempt to rethink christological belief, the primacy of soteriology must be recognized.
And this is true in some cases where the thinking part is explicit as well:
1719 E. BAYNARD Health (1731) 2 To think, and re-think each Design.
Note that think itself had a now-obsolete use with direct objects, meaning "To meditate on, turn over in the mind, ponder over, consider":
13.. Cursor M. 24064 (Cott.), I thinc it euer and ai.
1382 WYCLIF 1 Tim. iv. 15 Thenk thou thes thingis.
1486 Bk. St. Albans eijb, Thynke what I say my sonne nyght and day.
1605 SHAKES. Macb. II. ii. 33 These deeds must not be thought After these wayes.
A residue of this remains in the cases with indirect question complements:
1881 TROLLOPE Dr. Wortle's School V. iv, Mrs. Wortle began to think whether the visitor could have known of her intended absence.
And, perhaps, another residue is the re-thinking of things that can't now be thought in the first place.]