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As I understand it, when you use a comma and a coordinating conjunction, both sides of the comma should be independent clauses. However, I see a lot of examples where this is not the case. What is the precedent for this? Thanks!

Example: "She was the mother of three other foals, and was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2009."

Shouldn't there be no comma, since the second clause doesn't have it's own subject?
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There should be no comma. Some writers insert it to clarify the sentence components instead of taking the time and thought to recast the sentence:

The mother of three other foals, she was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2009.
Don't read Wikipedia for examples of good writing. It is unedited. Not only should there be no comma in that sentence, it absurdly yokes two unrelated thoughts, unless the AQHA Hall of Fame is for equine mothers of triplets. What am I saying? Horses don't have mothers, they have dams. So, Wikipedia strikes again: bad English irrelevantly pushing a feministic animal rights agenda.
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Hi,

As I understand it, when you use a comma and a coordinating conjunction, both sides of the comma should be independent clauses. However, I see a lot of examples where this is not the case. What is the precedent for this? Thanks!

Example: "She was the mother of three other foals, and was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2009."

Shouldn't there be no comma, since the second clause doesn't have it's own subject?

If the first clause is long, I find it natural to pause after saying it. This allows me to breathe, and more importantly allows the listener a moment to absorb the long thing that I have just said. After this brief pause, we are both ready to deal with the second part of the sentence. Hence, the comma in the written version.

Here's another thought. Consider this slightly modified example.
"She was the mother of two male foals and one female, and was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2009."
Here, I would consider the comma necessary.

Clive
lol. Well I see it in main stream, published novels too.
You see this in novels, therealdrag0, because it’s commonly used. It’s acceptable in British English.

As enoon suggests, it’s not particularly good English, because it links two unrelated thoughts. However, if one is going to do this, and many, especially journalists, do, using the comma does does suggest Clive’s slight pause that comes before the second clause is uttered.

Recasting as The mother of three other foals, she was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2009 still links two unrelated ideas. It is also the type of more formal style that is unlikely to be heard in normal conversation, in my opinion.
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Recasting as The mother of three other foals, she was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2009 still links two unrelated ideas.-- Don't be ridiculous; it all depends on the context.
Mister MicawberDon't be ridiculous; it all depends on the context.
Well, I suppose that if producing more than three foals is a justification for being inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame, then the ideas are related. Emotion: smile.
You can put a comma anywhere you want in fiction and poetry and your letter to your auntie. That's not what we're talking about. Textbook-level formal writing forbids a comma there. In formal writing, the comma is not for taking breaths, it is a mechanical device whose use is prescribed by editorial conventions, and this is one of them. This comma is not the crime of the century, but it brought itself to the attention of at least two readers—me and therealdrag0—and that is bad. Don't look for good practice in journalism, either, but they have the excuse that they have to crank out tons of material every day, and there just isn't time to make it perfect.
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