When editing several files for a French web site that contained non-ASCII latin characters I noticed some strange rendering inconsistencies between Safari and Firefox / IE.
Safari was displaying the characters correctly, however Firefox/IE were not. I tried resaving the file in all different encodings from UTF-8, UTF-16, to Western ISO Latin and got very weird results.
Then I noticed a tag that had been in the existing version of the site:
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
Even though my file was saved as UTF-8, this tag was confusing Firefox and IE into rendering my character data incorrectly. Interestingly, Safari was able to look at the actual file encoding and ignore this meta information.
To fix it all it took was making sure the file was saved as UTF-8 and then making sure the meta tag reflected this:
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
If you encounter strange character rendering then give this a try!