1562: I in Team

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 08:01, 10 August 2015 by (Talk)

Jump to: navigation, search
I in Team
There's no "I" in "VOWELS".
Title text: There's no "I" in "VOWELS".


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: explain the meaning of "I in team" 
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
Orthography is a set of rules and conventions that dictates how a language should be written. Cueball is trying to point out to Hairy that the spelling of a word doesn't relate to its meaning (an instance of the use–mention distinction). He does this by the use of a self-referential joke.

The title text provides another example of the difference between orthography and meaning. In this case the vowel "I" does not appear in the word "vowels".

"There is no 'I' in team" means that when working as a team one cannot think only for oneself or work alone and can be used to reprimand someone on your team who isn't cooperating. Cueball is using the same joke against Hairy by saying there is a "u" in "People who apparently don't understand the relationship between orthography and meaning". The joke here is that the person who is not cooperating will refer to him/herself as "I" but there is no "I" in team, so they can't only think about themselves. There is a "u" in what Cueball said, implying that Hairy is included in the set of people who mistakingly link orthography and meaning.


[Hairy and Cueball stand opposite each other.]
Hairy: Remeber, there's no "I" in "team".
Cueball: No, but there's a "U" in "People who apparently don't understand the relationship between orthography and meaning".

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


There is no I in team, but there is an M and an E. 08:26, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Ha, yes -- but they are backwards Spongebog (talk) 15:37, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Check it out! there's "l" in "vowels"! -- 08:51, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

<sarcasm>There is an (annagram of) Randal in "People who don't understand how a proverb works" </sarcasm> No, seriously this is just cueball being a smart-ass. -- 08:53, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

There's no I in team, but there is an I in pie; there's an I in meat pie and meat is an anagram of team, so... (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

There's a 999999 in pi. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
BTW, it's called the Feynman Point. It's got a pretty interesting backstory. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Doesn't pi contain every possible number sequence though? 11:17, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
No. There is no evidence that pi includes an offset of pi.
There is no I in team, but there is meat... blessed meat :::Simpson drool:: -- Cwallenpoole (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
finite sequence. the kate bush conjecture is unproven. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Though pic is an irrational number, meaning that you could theoretically find your birthday, your SSN, even a binary representation of your DNA sequence somewhere in pi's sequence. ChromoTec (talk) 15:30, 5 August 2017 (UTC)ChromoTec

The arbitrariness of this saying was demonstrated considerably more elegantly in Jeffrey Rowland's Wigu: "There is no I in 'team', but there is in 'family'." 11:56, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

This joke is not self-referential, it's metalingual. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jakobson%27s_functions_of_language Xhfz (talk) 13:10, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

There is. -- 16:18, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

That's deep. -- 18:05, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

It is interesting that Randall worded Cueball's dialogue as "There is a 'U' in People who apparently don't understand...". There is just that one 'U', in "understand". If he'd said instead something like "There is a 'U' in People who apparently don't get...", the reference to Hairy through 'U'/you would've been entirely allusional! - Vik 19:30, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

This comment is my way of noting and speculating that it makes sense that the origin of "No I in Team" is from baseball pitchers: They're the only team sport player I know of who is regularly replaced mid-game for reasons besides injury. If a pitcher thinks he's on a hot streak, but the coach replaces him because reasons, a phrase like like "No I in Team" may be needed to smooth over the resulting disagreement, regardless of whether the coach or the pitcher has their respective heads up their asses or not. 20:05, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

But there IS an I in team! http://i.imgur.com/prPC7BX.jpg 02:16, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

I think it's interesting that there is exactly one "u" in "People who apparently don't understand the relationship between orthography and meaning", which has 76 letters. "U" isn't a terribly infrequent letter. 04:42, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

The frequency of "u" is about 2.8%. Assuming a binomial distribution, one "u" out of 76 letters is about a 25% probability. Nothing of significance here, even though 2 "u"s would be slightly more likely. -- 14:43, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

I think part of the joke that is missed in the current explanation is that cueball is responding with a less vulgar version of the common retort: "But there is a 'U' in c*nt." 09:32, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

I have to say I've never heard that retort before. I'll have to try and remember to throw it into conversation next time I get the chance! --Pudder (talk) 14:02, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

"There is no I in team" is also sometimes used on voice coms for video games or other situations where the listener may not be able to identify the individual by voice, to explain why they should identify themselves in third person. -- 02:37, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Personal tools


It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?