Q. Hi. I am editing a text and would like to know whether the following sentence should have a comma after the word “so”: “So let’s think about how to understand the chemical diversity of the 20 amino acids.”

Q. Should there be a comma after “also” when it begins a sentence?

Q. An academic friend does not use a space following a comma,as this demonstrates. Is this “acceptable” or common? Certainly I can’t see that usage in CMOS.

Q. In the phrase “today, tomorrow, & always” should the comma before the ampersand be removed?

Q. Is a comma used after “But” or “And” at the beginning of a sentence?

Q. Greetings! I edit a lot of romance novels, which generally have a light, informal tone, but the publisher I work with likes to stick to strict Chicago style unless an author objects. I often struggle with constructions like this one, which I found in the Chicago forum: “My wife’s, Deb’s, father passed away on Sunday.” I would write/edit that as “My wife Deb’s father passed away on Sunday,” although the publisher would likely object because strict Chicago style says to put commas around “wife.” But I think that would sound awful. I would appreciate if you could weigh in on this. Thanks!

Q. I work with many first-time authors, and many of them want to argue about commas. Of course as author, they have the final decision of their own work . . . but I keep running into the idea of breath: “My high school English teacher taught me that commas go where you want to take a breath, so that’s why this comma should be here.” What would you say to these authors?

Q. Chicago says commas aren’t needed with “not only . . . but also” constructions but are needed between two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction. So which wins when you have both?

Q. Hi. A fiction author of ours hates the word that and often replaces it with a comma. For example: “The interior was so dark, she made out only shadowy shapes.” And “Her eyes fell on a cup, and a memory rose up with such clarity, she released a little gasp.” In such cases, we might offer her suggestions to rephrase, but would you let the commas stand? Or would you consider these sentences to have comma splices? This comes up a lot in fiction with other authors, too, so we’d love to hear your opinion! Thanks.

Q. Can you clarify when commas should be used with an “or” phrase? For example, should it be “Table salt, also known as sodium chloride or NaCl” or “Table salt, also known as sodium chloride, or NaCl”?