Hi,
I have asked similar questions here before, so please forgive me while I wrestle with this one topic.
Where I have difficulty is with commas in compound, complex sentences.

For example...
Original (my preference)
Mr. Johnston and his son have applied for a patent in the US, and if you believe the documentation, they also have foreign patents.

Modified (correct?)
Mr. Johnston and his son have applied for a patent in the US, and, if you believe the documentation, they also have foreign patents.

Note the additional comma after "and". But if I were to say this sentence out loud, I wouldn't pause after the "and." So, to me, this additional comma doesn't belong. Yet I want to be correct.
I went hunting through various online sources, and found something similar.

http://ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/quizzes/nova/nova1.htm (see example #5)

(correct version below)
Analyzing the data reveals public support of conflict, for as environmental issues become a variable, attitudes towards war become more complex.

(modified and presumably incorrect)
Analyzing the data reveals public support of conflict, for, as environmental issues become a variable, attitudes towards war become more complex.
Can someone provide a few pearls of wisdom as to how I should think about how to punctuate a compound, complex sentence?
Where I have specific difficulty is the comma punctuation after the coordinating conjunction leading into the subordinate clause. To my thinking, if the subordinate clause is not long or if you would not pause in your speach at that specific point, then no comma is required.

Thank you for your assistance.
HS
1 2 3
Hi, I have asked similar questions here before, so please forgive me while I wrestle with this one topic. Where ... I wouldn't pause after the "and." So, to me, this additional comma doesn't belong. Yet I want to be correct.[/nq]^
Put a comma here >.
I'd go with the modified version (with the additional comma). That is what I was taught when it was grammatical rules that were dictating punctuation.
I went hunting through various online sources, and found something similar.

Remove the comma from the above sentence.
http://ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/quizzes/nova/nova1.htm (see example #5) (correct version below) Analyzing the data reveals public support of conflict, for as environmental issues become ... the data reveals public support of conflict, for, as environmental issues become a variable, attitudes towards war become more complex.

I don't see why the modified sentence would be incorrect, but I do recognize it as the comma-conserving style of the new school. Personally, I can spare the comma.
Can someone provide a few pearls of wisdom as to how I should think about how to punctuate a compound, ... leading into the subordinate clause. To my thinking, if the subordinate clause is not long or if you would not

I'd put a comme before the "or".
pause in your speach at that specific point, then no comma is required. Thank you for your assistance.

I have to caution you that I have been accused of using too many commas. I learned punctuation in different languages and in different countries. English punctuation is a strange animal, inasmuch as it is not completely tamed. Other than that, I don't know what to say. Yes, there are rules, and then there are different rules. There appears to be no way to please everyone. Why worry?

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
Harry Sampson wrote on 03 May 2004:
Hi, I have asked similar questions here before, so please forgive me while I wrestle with this one topic. Where ... son have applied for a patent in the US, and, if you believe the documentation, they also have foreign patents.

Yes, this is formally correct and recommended(1). However, the "also" is redundant in both versions, as is every other case of "and...also".
Note the additional comma after "and". But if I were to say this sentence out loud, I wouldn't pause after ... not long or if you would not pause in your speach at that specific point, then no comma is required.

In very formal prose, I would use the comma after the "and" and after the "for", but in informal writing, I would drop the comma after "and" in your first example, but I'd keep it after "for" in your second. Sometimes the comma is absolutely necessary regardless of whether one pauses in speech. Sometimes it isn't.

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. . .

Original (my preference) Mr. Johnston and his son have applied ... if you believe the documentation, they also have foreign patents.

Either way is fine.
Note the additional comma after "and". But if I were ... the "and." So, to me, this additional comma doesn't belong.

Then leave it out.
I went hunting through various online sources, and found something similar.

Remove the comma from the above sentence.

That comma tells us how you want your sentence pronounced, so feel free to leave it in.
To my thinking, if the subordinate clause is not long or if you would not

I'd put a comme before the "or".

Yes, that probably works better.
pause in your speach at that specific point, then no comma is required.

Feel free to cut .
There appears to be no way to please everyone. Why worry?

A happy philosophy, worthy of all men to be received!
Hi, I have asked similar questions here before, so please forgive me while I wrestle with this one topic. Where ... son have applied for a patent in the US, and, if you believe the documentation, they also have foreign patents.

I would personally write this without the comma before the and. Some centuries ago, when I learnt the rudiments of this stuff, I was taught that a comma was a placeholder for "and", so therefore you shouldn't put a comma before one.
Note the additional comma after "and". But if I were to say this sentence out loud, I wouldn't pause after the "and."

I wouldn't pause before it, but I would after it.
Just my 0.02p.
Edward

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Some centuries ago, when I learnt the rudiments of this stuff, I was taught that a comma was a placeholder for "and", so therefore you shouldn't put a comma before one.

So, for , your teacher wanted you to write ? and for , your teacher wanted you to write ?
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But here the commas mark a parenthesis, so there must be two of them; and the first has to go after the 'and'.
There's a case for a semi-colon after 'US' if it's felt that there are too many commas for comfort.
Mike.
Remove the comma from the above sentence.

That comma tells us how you want your sentence pronounced, so feel free to leave it in.

Huh? How does he want it to be pronounced? With a pause? Suggesting that it was someone else who found something similar? That's silly. He went and found.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
Yes, this is formally correct and recommended(1). However, the "also" is redundant in both versions, as is every other case ... "for" in your second. Sometimes the comma is absolutely necessary regardless of whether one pauses in speech. Sometimes it isn't.

CyberCypher,
I am not sure if you had a reference to (1), but I appeared to have missed it.
Thank you for the "and...also." I will be watching for this error in the future.
I found it interesting that you would keep the comma after the "for." What I think you are saying is that for formal writing, put the comma in. For informal writing I have more latitude, and I should use my judgment or discretion? There does not appear to be hard and fast rules.

HS
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