I got the following error:

Oops! There was a problem updating your profile:

  • Display Name can only contain letters, digits, spaces, apostrophes or hyphens and must start with a letter or digit

after I tried to set my username using Japanese letters: イオニカ・ビザウ.

Which of them cannot be used?

I cannot try every letter to see if it pass the validation because I cannot save my username again, then.

  • Yet your username already uses Katakana now (). Perhaps it's the ? Or perhaps you cannot start the username with a Katakana character (such as ). Nov 7, 2013 at 18:02
  • @MartijnPieters Yes, maybe. I don't risk to change it and then to not be able to change it again. :-) It would be nice to make an open source validator for SE usernames. Nov 7, 2013 at 18:04
  • It is the : ux.stackexchange.com/users/36995 Nov 7, 2013 at 18:06
  • @MartijnPieters Yes, that means that is not a valid letter? Nov 7, 2013 at 18:07
  • 6
    This post is actually a little extra entertaining if you don't have the character set installed on your computer. Every character you are discussing is just a rectangle -- it's great. Nov 7, 2013 at 18:10
  • 5
    Hiragana works. Unless you're @BlackVegetable. In which case, the question should be "Using rectangles in the username". :) Nov 7, 2013 at 18:59
  • Ionica Bizau? What the dickens...?
    – jmac
    Nov 8, 2013 at 8:23

1 Answer 1


It is the (U+30FB Katakana middle dot, category "Po, Other_Punctuation") codepoint that is not allowed.

Use a space instead, Katakana letters themselves are perfectly valid:

me on UX

The name is filtered with the .NET \w character class which includes any Unicode letter categories (Ll, Lu, Lt, Lo, Lm), connecting characters (Pc, connecting punctuation, underscores really) and numbers (Nd), with a dash of hyphen, space and apostrophe thrown in; Katakana characters are "Lo, Other_Letter" for example.

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