among the various dabblings


New Member
Australian English
Hey all,

I am currently writing a personal statement for graduate school application and it starts with this,
"If I were to trace my interest in xxxx all the way back, among the various dabblings I would likely find no concrete point of beginning."

I have often used the word "dabble" in a sentence but very rarely the noun "dabbling," I would like to know if it's okay or not to use "dabbling" in the plural form here.

If not, what are some similar words I can use to express the idea? Thank you very much.
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Checking my favorite dictionaries, I sure can't find any support for dabbling as a full-blown, independent noun that can be pluralized, chuckluck. People use dabbling as a gerund, of course, but dabblings seems questionable to me.

    Given that you are applying for graduate school, it seems wise to avoid among the various dabblings in that sentence. Your sentence will tell your readers just as much if you omit it: ...all the way back, I would likely find no concrete point of beginning.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    You don't need another word. Delete all the words in bold text. You can probably also delete "likely," and perhaps replace "concrete point of beginning" with the shorter and more direct "starting point."

    (I have read a lot of graduate school applications as a faculty member of a graduate school admissions committee. All else being equal, applicants whose essays get right to the point, and say what they need to say without unnecessarily long words or phrases, do better.)
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