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>     --[*[ this seems ridiculous ]*]--

I agree.  Anyone who tries to type that on a standard QUERT
keyboard will agree, that is not only ugly, it's cumbersome
to type.  But I take it from the archive,, that
this new form also applies to strings, and that this is the
reason it could not be something simpler like --[[* *]]:
there are cases where the -- is not part of the token.

I would really suggest changing the middle token to
something else closer to the brackets on the keyboard, like
"|" or "=" rather than "*".  This will not make it prettier
or easier to syntax-highlight, but it would at least make it
typeable.  Maybe Brazilian keyboards are different.