Take, for example, my favorite T-shirt. Without commas, the wearer is a cannibal worse than Jeffrey Dahmer (at least, the general public hasn't been made privy to information that says any of his victims were his own children). Add a few well-placed commas, and voila! The lives of children and pets are saved, and the wearer is no longer a psychopath but a person as normal as you and me. Whew! A tragedy averted by a few squiggles!
I recently read an article in one of the writers' magazines to which I subscribe. It had an embarrassing number of typos and ill-placed commas. I thought that perhaps others might agree with me in this most egregious mistreatment of this powerful punctuation mark and make a new year's resolution to use the comma as it is meant to be used. Are you with me?
(I can hear you comma-nerds cheering!)
I won't give you the full scope of the comma at once. It's a little overwhelming. Let's start with its most basic use.