I've been working in Word 2003 and I get copy sent in from many different sources.
Randomly when I place or copy and paste text into Indesign (mapping styles doesn't help) InDesign would crash irregularly. Usually I spent hours tracking down the culprit. It could be a table, a space, a paragraph return, a chunk of text, an achored frame etc. It was really frustrating.
In Word 2003 there is an option in Tools>Fix Broken Text
Once I select this in Word and reimport the text to the layout there are no more crashes.
This is a great coup for me as it frustrated the heck out of me and really slowed me down.
Just today I was working on a table and I had to make a change to the table, save, crash, open, make change, save, crash, open etc.
This seems to work.
Here's MS Word of what Fix Broken Text does http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/fix-incorrectly-displayed-text-in-word-HA00103 4907.aspx
InDesign CS5 by the way.