Since I've installed MS Vista I've been plauged with getting characters like: É, >, ^^,`` when I wanted characters like ?,|,}," (note those are the exact same keys that did this, i just toggled my settings... keep reading).
so what does this?
Pressing the left CTRL + SHIFT keys at the same time toggles a weird setting that does this. I assume it's on canadian keyboard only who have the language set to Canadian English (because all know Canadian Enlish is proper English eh?).
So if you find yourself all of a sudden churning out weird characters when you're typing along, try pressing the left CTRL + SHIFT keys at the same time to switch it back over (You might need to press them a couple times).