What's the funny punctuation?
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In the background, Socialtext formats pages with a few extra symbols, like brackets and asterisks, in the text. For the most part, when editing you can ignore this. However, you may come across these symbols, for example, while browsing through the page revision history. Additionally, you can use the symbols while editing in Advanced mode.
To learn how to use the symbols, when you're editing a page in Advanced mode, click the "Edit tips" link at the top.
How do I make links?