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The solution is simple, it only requires the script be wrapped within a CDATA marked section.
... unescaped script content ...
Wrapping your script with CDATA is only needed for embedded (page) scripts, not for externally referenced instances. Heads up!
Thanks to madcat, Nick_W and tedster for bringing this to light.
Unfortunately, most browsers do not support CDATA sections (the standard XML method for including text containing special characters) so the safest option is to move your client-side scripts out to separate files and include them using the script element's src attribute.- from O'Reilly - [xml.com...]
Granted this was published over a year ago but how do the browsers stack up now??