Seems that’s the case. Good catch! An easy fix is to simply run the input string through a regular expression that strips out the punctuation before exploding it into an array.
That said, ASP.NET versions 2+ come with AJAX-enhanced controls that probably will meet your needs (http://dougv.us/o1) maybe the AlwaysVisible control is what you’re after. Versions 3.5+ natively support jQuery (http://dougv.us/o2), which you could use to remove / show / hide server controls after they are output.