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All right, this is an interesting one. If you want to be proper in your use of punctuation, perhaps you ought to check out what the Chicago Manual of Style (or another style guide, for that matter) has to say about commas. Grammatically speaking, there should always be a reason to use a comma. In other words, it isn't correct to simply play it by ear. ...


I think all your original examples sound fine. Go with your inner ear and let your beta/editor add or remove commas for the sake of grammar. As Bobn points out, the commas indicate pauses, and all those pauses sound natural and appropriate.


Commas are used to increase clarity. In each of your examples, a speaker would pause while reading the lines, indicating a comma is called for. A sentence with too many commas probably means the sentence is overly complicated. Your writing sample is first person and modern, so I would follow contemporary writing and speaking as a guide. A good reference for ...

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