Thoughts on Strings
Ever try to figure out what's in a binary file? If you don't know the file format it's pretty freaking hard. Why? Because you don't know (a) where one value starts and ends, or (b) what is the meaning of that value. The first problem is one of delimiters.
So people stumbled their way towards XML, among other text formats, dreaming of self-describing formats and of making domain-specific languages simple enough that business development people could create software by simply describing it.
And they were all forced to decide how to delimit the text in their systems.
And thus were born special characters, which begat escape sequences.