Due to the nature of my days—hours and hours and hours in the car, both driving and sitting doing computer things in parking lots—I listen to beaucoup books. Like 40 some odd each year.
(Please let me make clear that it's not like they're 40 different books. I very often re-listen to books. Like immediately. I'll finish, say, The Partly Cloudy Patriot, and just restart it. Not so much because I am hotly in love with it and must! remain in that world, but more because I can be entertained a little without having to give my whole head to what's playing. A common theme, that dual listening-and-doing thing that I do.)
Add that large quantity of audiobooks to my visual brain and present schoolwork in writing and you get this—Me driving throughout the Nevada desert, visualizing the possible punctuation variations in the sentences that I'm hearing.
I wonder if they used parenthesis there?
Could that be a paragraph break I'm hearing?
Was that a dash? Or did they do the trail-off-using-ellipsis thing?
Sounds an awful lot like a semicolon right there.
It's a form of comforting madness. I can't just listen to a book and enjoy the story, and that can drive a person mad. But I do love punctuation, and I don't at all resent it taking over my thoughts.