We recently received the following grammar question from one of our customers. I thought this question and answer might be useful to other grammarians and maybe even spark a little discussion.
If you can help me solve this nagging grammar issue, I will be eternally grateful and one of your biggest fans. Does the word because require a comma in the following sentence?
'That might be an exaggeration, because we were not physically abused, but Mama didn't hesitate to use the switch.'
More and more I'm seeing a comma precede the word "because," but I never grew up with that rule. Has the rule changed?"
In the context, a comma after 'abused' is useful because it breaks the otherwise-assumed cause and effect of 'because.' The commas that you do use, which are appropriate, make the phrase 'because we weren't physically abused' into a parenthetical phrase.
Any other thoughts on this, readers?