A not uncommon source of requests for help with journals/comments/etc on DeviantArt is:
How can I talk about HTML markup without all that stuff you try to do to help me with markup getting in the way? I don't want things to magically become markup, or get turned into links, or anything like that.
The solution to your problems is the completely made up and non-standard tag:
Anything inside a
segment will be escaped and URLs won't become links. (The only thing difficult to talk about is
Editing to add: this may get a little messed up if you're using Writer and you expect it to work across paragraphs. It'll work most-reliably if you're using the raw HTML input via ctrl-e.