I found a great many pieces of punctuation and typography lying around dormant when I came along—and I must say I had a good time using them. I figured it was time someone violated what Orwell called “the Geneva conventions of the mind” … a protocol that had kept journalism and non-fiction generally (and novels) in such a tedious bind for so long. I found that things like exclamation points, italics, and abrupt shifts (dashes) and syncopations (dots) helped to give the illusion not only of a person talking but of a person thinking. I used to enjoy using dots where they would be least expected, not at the end of a sentence but in the middle, creating the effect … of a skipped beat. It seemed to me the mind reacted—first! … in dots, dashes, and exclamation points, then rationalized, drew up a brief, with periods.
The Birth of the New Journalism
New York Magazine (1972)