Indeed they are. And those characters are no longer really permitted. Although Mir did get his @ back once BR decided to dive into the belly of the forum tools. So wear your period proudly, it's a small and elite club for cool people who use non-standard characters in their names.
And being in it automatically makes you 20% cooler. Not to mention it's very high "users who at one point were mods" to "users who were never mods" ratio. Which means you're statistically in the right spot to be.
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