Okay, doing some cleanup with hard line breaks, and reviewed the following Markdown and their HTML output:
abc \ def
<p>abc <br /> def</p>
but the cousin of the
\ at the end
Now, in my head, I know that a blank line, including one with 2+ spaces, produces the end of a paragraph, hence the difference. But when I looked over the specification, I wasn’t happy with the wording under Head Line Breaks, though I really couldn’t put my finger on it.
Perhaps it was because there wasn’t an explicit “if done at start, will be interpreted as blank line” clause in that section?