ESR writes about Elocutionary Punctuation, distinguishing it from syntactic punctuation. The latter, says he, is the style taught in schools, where the punctuation corresponds to grammatical phrase structure. Elocutionary punctuation treats punctuation as markers of speech cadence and intonation.
I think I fall in this camp. I’m careful about my punctuation, though I can’t necessarily articulate why I choose one way over another. If it sounds right in my head, that’s the way I go. Even before I started doing staged readings, I paid attention to how my writing would sound, were it read aloud.
While I’m pontificating on punctuation, let me say that I’m a firm proponent of the serial comma—the comma just before the final conjunction in a list, such as “England, Ireland, and Wales”. It wasn’t taught in Irish schools when I grew up, but my logical mind requires the symmetry. I also prefer to leave periods outside of quotations that fall at the end of sentences, as you can see two sentences back.