That's either a language setting (in Control Panel>Regional settings), a keyboard setting or a font issue.
Let's hope that your publisher and printer don't have this issue when reading and printing your book!
Try to diagnose the problem by copy/paste to Notepad, saving as a text file and using a hex editor to see what characters it are.
It's an interesting issue. I would like to have a look at (part of) the file myself. Can you make a new file with a small sample (a few lines) with such characters? Then click on my user name to PM me (send me a private mail). I'll reply. Then you've got my email address (which I won't make public) and can send me that sample file as an attachment.
As apparently you have access to other PC's, it would be interesting if you typed the same text in the same version of Word using the same font on that other PC, and see how it shows on your PC. That's the same thing, but the other way around. Please send me that second document also, for comparison. If they look the same on the screen on their 'native' PC, they should be identical and show identical with me.
I recently finished writing a book on a XP machine with Word 2007. After I finished the book, I copied the files to a flash drive and transferred them to another computer. Whenever I open the file on the original computer, everything is fine. Also, if I open the file from the flash drive on the original computer, everything is fine. However, if I open the file on any other computer, certain characters are replaced by other characters. These include:
"=" for a '
"@" for a " (left side)
"A" for a " (right side)
and so on. The following are what I have attempted:
1) I have tried opening the file on a Vista computer with Word 2007, a Windows 7 computer with Word 2007, a XP machine with Word 2003, and a XP machine with Word 2007. The problem is the same on all machines running all versions of Word.
2) I compared all the settings between the original XP machine running Word 2007, and the Windows 7 machine running Word 2007. All the settings that I could find, match.
3) I have renamed and recreated the Normal.dotm and Normal.dot templates.
4) I went through all of the Help Table of Contents and did not find anything that matched my problem. In addition, I didn't find anything on the Internet that matched this issue.
5) I have tried a repair of Word 2007 and an uninstall/reinstall of Word 2007.
If anyone has an idea of why this is happening, I would appreciate the input. All the Best.