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In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> you write:
>ah yeah there's where I had the error too, F8 in utf-8 should be the macron.
In UTF-8 all characters above 0x80 require more than one byte.
For non-ascii Latin-1 characters the two bytes of the UTF-8 encoding,
if interpreted (incorrectly) as two separate Latin-1 characters,
display as an "a" with some kind of accent followed by another
character (sometimes the right one!).
You can experiment with UTF-8 using this web page: