Although, many of his photos are geological . . .
– Wikipedia entry on John Tuzo Wilson
“Although what?” I wonder. Is this an incomplete segue from the previous sentence? A glance back confirms my impression: No.
I think I know what’s happening here, but I scan ahead to be sure.
Although, many of his photos are geological — details of rocks and their structures or panoramas of large formations — the bulk of his photos are of the places, activities, and people that he saw on his travels.
Sigh. Yes, “although” goes with the first part of the sentence: the part from which it is separated (Oh, the horror) by a comma. Here we have the domesticated Although-Comma, its wild origins lost in the mists of time.
Or maybe not.
“All insects should be killed,” he opined, having just lost most of his right ear to black flies. “Although . . . (Ed’s note: Thoughtful pause here) maybe we should keep a few of them. Like the ones that birds eat.”
Perfectly understandable, linking what was just said to what is to come. Communicating some uncertainty, some qualifier, some second thought mayhap.
But if writers thoughtlessly start by using a comma after “although” to indicate a thoughtful pause, too many finish by thinking a comma is always indicated. Instead of, you know, never.
Although, it’s just speculation, it makes sense to me. Although, there’s a plausible reason, there isn’t any dagnabbed excuse. Although, this usage grates on my mind’s ear, the worse outcome is that it disrupts sentence flow, derailing the reader.
And although, it’s a minor point, it’s easy to fix.
Please join my campaign to eradicate the Although-Comma. You won’t become rich or famous–at least not through your participation–but I’ll feel so much better.