Say you want to show someone how to display some kind of html code in your journal but you don’t know how to write it so the html will not take over and execute the code. Sure you could replace the < with ( or [ but they still might not figure out what is going on. There is the <xpm> command but if you use that with really long codes your browser will end up 3 miles wide. I use the special characters I found at http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/reference/special_characters/.
Some Special Characters
< is this < > is this > & is this & If you want to show someone how to make these, you will have to know that one.