The roadside was sprinkled with breadcrumbs, and however you look at it, that bird's luck had finally turned.
As you all determined, the comma after breadcrumbs is required. Placing another comma after and is optional, but according to the late William Sabin, of the Gregg Reference Manual, the preferred usage is to omit that extra comma. His reasoning is that a comma after and makes the following introductory element appear as though it is nonessential, when actually it is essential.
If you read the sentence aloud, you will find that your voice does not drop on the clause however you look at it, as it would if this were a truly nonessential interruption in the sentence.
Read this aloud: The roadside was sprinkled with breadcrumbs, and, however you look at it, that bird's luck had finally turned.
Compare it with this truly nonessential interruption:
Read this aloud: The bird, by the way, was a chickadee.
I'm guessing you found that your voice definitely dropped in pitch and loudness on "by the way" but did not drop on "however you look at it." Having commas both before and after the clause indicates that your voice should drop because the part surrounded by commas is parenthetical, or nonessential. Here, we have just experienced that the clause is not parenthetical.
"But I want a pause there!" I can hear you thinking. Well, I sympathize. I have previously discussed the tendency in training videos for the speaker to pause gratuitously but meaningfully after the word and, like this:
Spoken: "Select the text you wish to format, and [pause] choose 14 from the Font Size drop-down menu."
The pause in speaking draws the learner's attention to the next instruction, "choose." However, putting a comma after and to indicate that pause is ungrammatical. What to do? What to do? Perhaps it is time to make the leap to "literary" punctuation, where the commas indicate pauses rather than grammatical structures. If I accept literary punctuation, with that extra comma, I need to add the following names to the list of winners: Alicia Grimes, Michelle Duran, Alisha Sauer, Gail Kelleher, Joanne Chantelau, and Vera Sytch.
Correct answers to the Puppies challenge on Apostrophes are brought to you by Kay Honaker.
- The black and tan puppy ran right into the children's room.
- All three puppies' noses were white from the milk in the cereal bowl.
- The kids' faces brightened as soon as they saw the puppies.
- The cat guarded the kittens from the rambunctious dogs.
- The biggest dog's paws were up on the table.
- The children pulled the puppies' and the momma dog's ears.
- There was little doubt about the puppies' affection.
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