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    Is there a reason for using character entities instead of just inserting the characters themselves – apart from wanting to make it clear which one it is for characters that are displayed in the same way?

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      It depends:

      • On a Mac, long known for its typography (Steve took a calligraphy class before dropping out of Reed College), it’s very easy to use the Shift and Option key modifiers to insert all sorts of characters, from mdash to the «angle quotes».

      • On Windows — not so much, so, things like — and «/» come in quite handy.