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Hi all,

I had a question concerning comma usage when a conjunction is followed by an interrupter. It was my understanding that placing commas after conjunctions is incorrect even if the conjunction is followed by an interrupter, but I am now being told to use them.

For example:

John had been told that pigs could fly, but, in his opinion, this was incorrect.
John had been told that birds could fly, and, excluding the ones listed below, he knew this to be correct.

I would have written these sentences without placing the comma after the conjunction:

John had been told that pigs could fly, but in his opinion, this was incorrect.
John had been told that birds could fly, and excluding the ones listed below, he knew this to be correct.

Which one is correct?

Thank you very much.
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I became sick at that dinner party, and, therefore, I will avoid such forays into the social world in the future.

I would simply write this sentence thus.
I became sick at that dinner party, and therefore I will avoid such forays into the social world in the future.

I don't see 'therefore' as an interrupter.

Clive
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This makes sense to me! I think we often use too many commas which, as Mr. M says:

Mister Micawber:

The problem is that too many commas impede the flow of words and ideas,
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Comments  
The problem is that too many commas impede the flow of words and ideas, so that the extra comma is often omitted in short combinations. It is a style decision rather than a matter of 'correctness'. I suggest:

John had been told that pigs could fly, but in his opinion, this was incorrect.
John had been told that birds could fly, and excluding the ones listed below, he knew this to be correct.

So your intuition at least matches mine.
Many thanks for your input. After literally hours of googling, I think I may have found my answer here:

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/grammarlogs3/grammarlogs410.htm

QUESTION
Is it correct to distinguish between a parenthetical interrupter and an introductory phrase or clause after a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence, such as in the following:
I became sick at that dinner party, and in the future, I will avoid such forays into the social world.
Is the following correct in contrast:
I became sick at that dinner party, and, therefore, I will avoid such forays into the social world in the future.
In other words, do I put the comma after the "and" in the second?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE
Lynchburg, Virginia Fri, Nov 24, 2000
GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE
William Strunk speaks specifically to this issue in Elements of Style. His answer is no: when a parenthetical interrupter follows the coordinating conjunction, it is not necessary to put a comma after the coordinating conjunction. (You don't want a comma after "and." And the first example you give is correct.)
Just as a supplement, I found the reference online:
http://www.cs.vu.nl/~jms/doc/elos.pdf

(no mention of copyright anywhere)

If a parenthetic expression is preceded by a conjunction, place the first comma before the conjunction, not after it.

"He saw us coming, and unaware that we had learned of his treachery, greeted us with a smile."
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