It came as news to me that one is not supposed to ever put a comma after “although”. I just created a split infinitive there, but I'm going to go ahead and leave it, since this is supposed to be a learning experience.
I am definitely learning a lot about punctuation. I think that I tend to over-comma (is that a compound verb?) (is that even a thing?) because I am afraid of my sentences sounding like they're running on and on and going out of control kind of like this one is but then again this is a bad sentence for a variety of reasons so I suppose I should end it now. On the other hand, when I use commas excessively, as I tend to do, I end up pausing my writing so much that it sounds as if it could be read by William Shatner.
It is interesting to learn that I do not have the handle on things that I thought I did, as I have considered myself a champion of grammar for a long time now. I realize that this sounds conceited, but (at the risk of sounding like I'm passing the buck) it can be easy to feel that way when you spend more than five minutes a day on the Internet and see what passes for decent in that realm (i.e., “at least” being considered one word). At any rate, it is interesting to learn so many new things that I can tuck away into the recesses of my mind, until such a date that I will be able to share my newfound grammatical knowledge and truly get a handle on it.
However, these things take a lot of practice. I read once (like, four years ago) that using the word “lots” was not technically grammatically correct, and I still have to actively work to keep it out of my speaking and writing. These are not the kinds of things for which one can just make flash cards, nor can you truly effectively use things like worksheets or memory drills. I feel that, at least for myself, I must learn these things organically, or they will never really take root in my head. For instance, I have been attempting to use absolutely no parenthetical thoughts or dashes in my writing these last few weeks, yet today I decided I would allow them to creep back in, and they have, once again, taken over. As it turns out, anyway, I have found new ways to interrupt myself, like the overuse of commas that seems to be the hallmark of this particular blog entry. The sentence either sounds like it's getting away from me, or it sounds as if I need to take a breath every other word, so what am I to do? I could use the Internet for information, but it isn't necessarily reliable. I could read Nitty-Gritty Grammar from cover to cover, for I believe that would be the source. I suppose all I can do is keep working at it!