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While editing this response, I found a bug in the character escaping code. It is currently possible to write an & using &, but there is no way to specify characters using the numerical code in a code block, which is what the OP at the linked answer wanted. E.g.:

 
&nbsp&#59;

These should both display the same thing (the code &nbsp;) but neither of them displays correctly. However, &amp;nbsp; and &nbsp&#59; do both work when not in a code block. This is the same code as above, but in a <pre> block (shows that it doesn't work in inline code either):

& 
 ;

(Should appear the same as the first block)

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is specific to code blocks, and a side effect of Google Prettify client-side JavaScript syntax highlighting.

Disable JavaScript and you'll find this works..

update: appears fixed with the latest prettify.js we've deployed.

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Yeah, but disable Javascript and you straight away lose voting, comments, flagging, and myriad other important parts of the site as well! –  a_m0d Aug 9 '09 at 23:35
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regardless, it's an issue with prettify.js and not us –  Jeff Atwood Aug 10 '09 at 0:01
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For those without a high enough arbitrary number. Text indented four spaces:

=>&nbsp;<=
=>`&nbsp;`<=
=>`&nbsp;;`<=
=>&amp;nbsp;<=
=>&#38;nbsp;<=
=>&n&#98;sp;<=
=>&nbsp&#59;<=

Looks like none of these work.

Compare with <pre> block.

 
` `
` ;`
&nbsp;
&nbsp;
&nbsp;
 ;
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Alrighty then, PRE blocking it is. –  random Aug 9 '09 at 1:44
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