explain xkcd:Community portal/Miscellaneous

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Welcome to the Community Portal. This set of pages is used to discuss how Explain xkcd works, and is divided into five sections. Please use the table below to find the most appropriate section to post in, or post in the miscellaneous section. You can view all community portal sections at once here.

Community portal sections

Proposals (post)
Ideas to improve the wiki's design and organization.

Technical (post)
To discuss technical issues.

Coordination (post)
To coordinate content editing and maintenance tasks.

Admin requests (post)
User problems, changes to protected pages, etc.

Miscellaneous (post)
Messages that do not fit into any other category.

Contents

[edit] The Community Portal's design

{{Community portal}} looks too Wikipedia-ish (because that's where I got it). Someone who can design things should probably fix that. It isn't protected for the time being, though it probably will be in the future (high-visibility template). --Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:54, 4 August 2012 (EDT)

[edit] Common mistake

This affects all pages that ever say "alt text" in reference to the TITLE text on xkcd images. "Alt text" is incorrect; Alt text refers to the text that is shown as an alternative when images are not displayed. Title text is what xkcd uses and is shown as a tool tip-like bubble when images are hovered over.

I would correct this myself but I saw no way to edit the main page. --Jillysky (talk) 14:21, 6 August 2012‎ (UTC)

You actually don't need to edit the main page to fix it, as what's there is just a mirror (transclusion) of the actual content from the comic page, at Curiosity, which is open for editing by anyone. Then again, the "alt-text" in that case is generated by a template, {{comic}}, so that's where we should fix this. The template's code, however, is currently a terrible mess (sorry!), so I went ahead and took care of it. Thanks for catching that! --Waldir (talk) 16:24, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Ah? So it's wrong, for instance, on http://m.xkcd.com? because of that I took it for granted that we could call it the alt-text... - Cos (talk) 17:38, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes. If you look at the page's html source, you'll see:
<img
 id="comic"
 src="http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/curiosity.png"
 title="As of this writing the NASA/JPL websites are still overloaded. Trying CURIOSITY-REAR-CAM_[256px_x_256px].torrent.SwEsUb.DVDRip.XviD-aXXo.jpg instead."
 alt="Curiosity">
(line breaks added for clarity) --Waldir (talk) 23:54, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
That was my error in the template. I knew "image text" that has been commonly used by Jeff was not techically correct, but I didn't actually go back and confirm it was alt text before I included that tag in the template. That's to Waldir (I believe?) for correcting the template. TheHYPO (talk) 14:14, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

[edit] When the "official" transcript is wrong?

I did 903: Extended Mind. Interestingly, the transcript on xkcd.com is missing the bottom line "When Wikipedia has a server outage, my apparent IQ drops by 30 points." I assume we want a complete transcript, rather than whatever xkcd.com says it is...? Stevage (talk) 04:10, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

We're focusing on the actual transcript of the comic, not the xkcd.com transcript. The official transcript is usually right, but even Randall makes mistakes sometimes. Davidy22(talk) 04:24, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Milestone: half the comics explained!!

Hi all! I'm pleased to announce that we have just broke the 50% mark for xkcd explanations! The page that balanced the count (568 explained, 568 to go, at the time) was 877: Beauty, created 01:31 UTC, 21 November 2012 by User:Davidy22. Congratulations!! :D --Waldir (talk) 03:10, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

The caterer's been called! The punch will be arriving soon! Go Davidy22! lcarsos_a (talk) 06:53, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
freedom.png Punch is served! Davidy22(talk) 07:11, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

But the Main page says 407 explanations, 731 to go! What's up with that? --St.nerol (talk) 21:00, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

[edit] Reverse?

Why in the Archive why are all the thing up until "Heatmap" in Reverse? Can someone please answer? Tmack3 (talk) 08:28, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Archive? Can you provide a link or screenshot? Davidy22[talk] 04:43, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

http://xkcd.com/archive/ Tmack3 (talk) 08:28, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Ah, that's because the comic right after that, rtl, has a right-to-left character in it that flips all the proceeding text. Davidy22[talk] 00:13, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Ah, ok, i see that now. When I 1st saw that RTL I just thought that it was random letters, thankyou for explaining it for me. Tmack3 (talk) 08:28, 20 February 2013 (UTC)


It also depends on what browser you are on because on Google Chrome it was normal. Tmack3 (talk) 09:08, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Do you think this question was asked by one of the xkcd people?

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090301060752AAtYugc Tmack3 (talk) 08:38, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Matthew Reilly

I would just like to tell everyone that I asked Matthew Reilly (the author) if he is ever scared that a velociraptor is going to attack him, and he said NO! He clearly needs to start worrying about them! Tmack3 (talk) 10:45, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

[edit] What can we learn section

First of all I love your work. I believe deeper understanding of each XKCD can make a world a better place and I thank you sincerely for starting this webpage. I wanted to ask what you think about "What can we learn?" section I've been adding to some of the pages. Thank you - E-inspired (talk) 13:27, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

This site is actually the work of multiple editors working slowly and steadily to fill in explanations for all the old comics. Some of the xkcd comics are incredibly deep - comic 956 is such a poignant comic that digs into the DRM issue on so many levels. Your reflections on many of the comics are very much warranted and you're helping us create talk pages with high-quality opening posts, which is great for future discussion on this wiki. It'd be nice if you could refrain from putting headers in talk pages, technical limitations of the wiki make long explanation pages choke when headings are in the discussion page. Other than that, keep up the good work! Davidy²²[talk] 13:42, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I've put in my 2 cents to comic 956, and thank you for teaching me how to comment and link to other comics - E-inspired (talk) 13:58, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
FYI, you can always make pseudo-headings using a horizontal rule and a bold "header", but honestly I think a simple standard opening sentence would suffice. --Waldir (talk) 12:14, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and the guy who draws xkcd is called Randall Munroe. So many glowing things to be said about him. Davidy²²[talk] 13:44, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I can't thank him enough for simplifying complex issues to funny stories, I think it's exactly what our generation needs - E-inspired (talk) 13:58, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm in favor of a Mr. Rogers style of 'what lesson can be learned' on the talk page, but make sure your comments don't come across as sanctimonious and holier-than-thou as that can be really off-putting. lcarsos_a (talk) 19:06, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
You are absolutely correct, I have not thought of that, please trust me I did not do it on purpose. Thank you Mr. Lcarsos - E-inspired (talk) 19:55, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Thank you David, and I apologize that I've not made it clear that by your work, I do mean your collective work (the wiki is only as good as all the people behind it). I was trying to put the headers to allow others to find the section easier in case they start looking for it, perhaps I could make a suggestion to make it a standalone section so that others would be encouraged to contribute their own understanding of lessons they have noticed from each comic. I know the lessons I've seen, but I would love to learn from others as much as I hope they can learn from me and Mr. XKCD, thank you. - E-inspired (talk) 13:48, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

[edit] DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD

Hello fellow editors. Do you remember the last time we were hit by a surge of automated spam? Neither do I. ConfirmEdit has really done a number on the volume of spam that we're eating - one spam account has been created since we finished configuring confirmEdit, and zero anon edits have been spam. Zero. Can you say happiness? Can you say party? Davidy²²[talk] 14:41, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Hehe, I'm glad! Thanks for being so relentless on the spam-fighting all this time! Maybe we should make up a new reason to make Jeff remove the /wiki/ in the URL? ;) –St.nerol (talk) 18:11, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Awesome news! Finally the patrolling feature will be usable: Unpatrolled changes by registered users / Unpatrolled changes by anonymous users :) --Waldir (talk) 12:27, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

[edit] 1000th comic explanation!!

Hi all! It apparently went unnoticed that we have recently surpassed the mark of 1000 comic explanations! Some calculations based on Category:Comics and Special:NewPages led me to the conclusion that the 1000th explanation was 681: Gravity Wells, created by User:AlexRNL just yesterday! Yay! This calls for a celebration, no? Congrats to everyone who made this happen! I'll edit Mediawiki:Sitenotice with a congratulatory message. Way to go, guys! --Waldir (talk) 16:04, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

ps - I also took the opportunity to flesh out our about/history page. Please take a look and fix/add any details I might have missed. --Waldir (talk) 16:06, 10 April 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Style guide

Is there a style guide for this wiki? --PeterMortensen (talk) 20:14, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Oh, sorry, I did forget to answer here. A guide on this is not easy, many individual comics do need special layouts because they have content never can match to a style guide. But I will give a try Help:Style Guide.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:18, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Adblock

I've whitelisted the site in adblock, but the ads are still blocked. Anyone know what' going on here and how I can fix it?--ParadoX (talk) 04:34, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Huh. I was wondering why our impression counts weren't rising. I thought it was just because this site had high turnover. I've changed the webpage that the word whitelisting links to, try the instructions there instead. Project wonderful is our ad provider, and they've been pretty good to us so far. Also, thanks for helping to support the site! Davidy²²[talk] 04:40, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Great! I don't really mid ads as long as they aren't intrusive. Works now, Hope everyone else does it as well.--ParadoX (talk) 05:16, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
I saw you wrote "the webpage that the word whitelisting links to" so I went to the search box and typed whitelisting. My search didn't yield anything useful: [1]. I don't know how to create the missing page but there oughta be a link for someone like me who searches for whitelist or whitelisting, to take them to the instructions you refer to. SaxTeacher (talk) 10:59, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
We already have this linked somewhere, but this is the link you want. Davidy²²[talk] 13:41, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

I normally access this site through the android app "xkcd browser". That app only links to the content part of the site and doesn't show the side bar, so the adds aren't shown either. Might be worth discussing it with the author. 109.158.126.139 08:06, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

We support those avenues completely, you don't need to feel bad if you use an app to browse this site. We're only really concerned when we put up ads and our impressions are less than half our page hits, because that essentially means more than half our readers aren't contributing to server costs. That's really hard to deal with. We have enough daily page hits to qualify as web publishers at very big ad agencies, but we've had to settle for relatively low rates at the smaller Project Wonderful because 60% of our users were using adblock, so the agencies rejected us because our valuable "paying" audience was too low for them to consider us. That's been the difference between us using dedicated servers to host the site and hiring a contractor to set it up, and the (admittedly somewhat decent) shared hosting plan that we have to settle for now. We can only afford the shared hosting, because the small-scale advertisers at Project Wonderful don't even pay for full days of advertising; most of the time, we make less per day than the posted $3.90 price. That said, we're grateful that Project Wonderful would take us as a publisher when no one else would, but it really feels like the difference between being accepted to community college and being accepted to an ivy league school. For a similar reason, the Google ads route was not sufficient to satisfy our needs; not a large enough proportion of our users were looking at ads, so we either needed to spam them and degrade the site, or we needed to make them refresh, which makes pages slow and causes needlessly high traffic for a lot of users. We didn't want our ads to make the site worse, because that would drive away users and defeat the purpose of us being a public resource for xkcd readers. We actually decided to go the agency route pretty early, because adsense takes a massive cut of revenues and gives us little control over what ads or advertisers actually showed, which was not okay with us. Whoah, I wrote a lot. I hope it was coherent. Maybe someday I'll collect my thoughts and write a proper summary on how and why we advertise. Also, if you have any questions about anything ad-related, you can always ask us at explain xkcd talk:Advertise Here. Davidy²²[talk] 11:15, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Feynman?

Feynman (both in living and zombie form) probably deserves an entry in the character navbox template doesn't he? 128.250.152.198 02:21, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

That's two comics out of 1200+. Three if you count the song. Not quite enough yet. Davidy²²[talk] 02:27, 1 October 2013 (UTC)
If that's the criterion, then we need to get rid of Brown Hat. Djbrasier (talk) 19:30, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Job Interview (Electric Soup)

The soup is clearly being poured out of an electric socket. This "electric soup" is probably not a reference to the alcoholic brew favoured by Scottish tramps, but more likely to the virtual nature of the company. -- Sulis (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Hey, go here Talk:1293: Job Interview‎ for discussions. --Dgbrt (talk) 19:58, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

[edit] Is there a similar, transcripted service for The Oatmeal?

Hi everyone - this site is a real gem, I've sent it to a friend of mine who can't read XKCD because she's blind. The transcripts on this site are a real boon!

Does anyone know if there is a similar service for The Oatmeal? I've searched and searched, but found nothing so far.

Thanks :)

Jeff

As far as I know we are kind of unique in the web comics world. I think we get away with it because Randall publishes all his comics as Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial. We liberally link back to xkcd, and we don't make a penny (The ads are just to cover server expenses, because wikis and the databases that support them get big when you're covering a body of work like xkcd). I haven't looked into the copyright Matt uses for the Oatmeal, but he seems like a cool enough guy to not kill a community transcripting effort of his comics. lcarsos_a (talk) 20:32, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

[edit] what if 103: Vanishing Water - comics

Please explain the 2nd and the 4th comics from http://what-if.xkcd.com/103/

"Just tried to sail my boat over land, because I didn't learn from that kid in the Zephyr." (who's the kid from Zephyr?)

"A third time?" (maybe whales were dropped twice before in other what-ifs?) Daniel Carrero (talk) 21:57, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

"A third time?" is a reference to a whale falling twice in "Hitchiker's guide to the Galaxy". Been a while, so I don't remember the details of how this fit in, but the second time it happened to the whale, he thought "Not again" or something along those lines. Djbrasier (talk) 18:49, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Raises the question of if we should explain jokes imbedded in What If comics. Djbrasier (talk) 18:49, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Discussion usage

Am I being a killjoy in feeling that the discussion section should be mainly limited to discussion on improving the explanation, gathering consensus and that type of thing. Specifically, the discussion for 1418: Horse is quickly turning into every man and his dog posting a sentence in the style of the comic, which doesn't really add anything to the page other than clutter.

Personally, I'd just delete most of them, but I think I might be turning into a grumpy old bugger... --Pudder (talk) 20:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

The discussion is also there for just talking about the comic. Those guys aren't wildly off-topic, there's no need to clamp down on what they get to talk about. Davidy²²[talk] 17:44, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Yep, I must just be grumpy and draconian! Lesson learned --Pudder (talk) 20:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

[edit] 2014 Christmas header

Since the header for the site current contains a graphic link to the store that promises that Randall probably won't ship you a bobcat, it seems to me that probably ought to be preserved and explained somewhere. 173.245.56.189 17:45, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] XKCD at LanguageLog

Arnold Zwicky (of the well-known linguistics blog Language Log) has put together a list of linguistics-related XKCD strips, here: http://arnoldzwicky.org/the-language-of-comics/comics-lists/xkcd-cartoons/ I thought it might be appropriate for a copy of the list (maybe a category) to be created from it. 199.27.133.79 03:48, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Category:Language Davidy²²[talk] 04:39, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Bookmarklet

Hello there, I've created a little bookmarklet (https://ginkobox.fr/shaarli/?a77vQw) and I thought it might be useful for someone out there.

When launched, it adds the 'explain' before xkcd.com and the browser loads the explainxkcd page. I've tested it only on Firefox.

(Contact @ https://ginkobox.fr/wiki/doku.php?id=about) ‎108.162.229.100 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

[edit] Is there a RSS feed for What If?

Is there a RSS feed for What If?--17jiangz1 (talk) 11:59, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

No, because we cover the comics. Davidy²²[talk] 18:57, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] My User Page

Can someone help me with my user page? I can't seem to remove the large space on top.--17jiangz1 (talk) 07:43, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

The only solution I've found is to remove the contribution scores (data6=...). Not sure what exactly is triggering this bug. --SlashMe (talk) 21:02, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
I am receiving "Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ""." for
{{#expr: {{formatnum:{{#cscore:17jiangz1|pages}}|R}}/{{formatnum:{{NUMBEROFARTICLES}}|R}}*100 round 5 }}
--17jiangz1 (talk) 05:46, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Bump?--17jiangz1 (talk) 06:48, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

[edit] What-If

It hasn't updated for 2 weeks. why?--17jiangz1 (talk) 06:50, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Looks like they're on hold for a few months (Until July 14th). Too bad, I enjoyed them. (Look at the top of the What-If page) --Zman9600 (talk) 20:24, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
What is so special about the date and time? Seems very specific: July 14th, 2015 at 7:49:59 AM EDT. --141.101.98.99 12:48, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Looks like it's set for the 40th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz mission launch. 108.162.237.158 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

What If updates will resume on July 14th, 2015 at 7:49:59 AM EDT. By that time New Horizons will have it's closest approach to Pluto. See here: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/ --Dgbrt (talk) 20:34, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

[edit] thanks for having a working website

the search function on xkcd.com was taken off, and now the random function seems to be having issues, but it's nice that here both work 188.114.97.114 19:09, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

We do our best. Davidy²²[talk] 22:27, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Ada Munroe

The latest what if? number 139 has a question by "Ada Munroe". Is she related to Randall in any way? --Forrest (talk)06:57, 09 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Out of curiosity

I notice that whenever someone links to tvtropes.org in an explanation, someone changes the link to the matching page on allthetropes.org. I'm curious as to why that is. Is there some kind of terms of use conflict at play here that an editor should be keeping in mind? 199.27.128.156 06:33, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

TVtropes does not restrict links to their site, and if this has been happening there are some time-outs that I need to be handing out. Can you point me to some of the edits where this is happening? Davidy²²[talk] 08:24, 26 October 2015 (UTC)
The specific example I had was, um, 1468: Worrying. On Jan 3rd the links went to tvtropes.org, and on March 18th they were all changed over to allthetropes.orain.org. I just found it curious, I wasn't sure what the reason for it was 162.158.255.47 10:32, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Reverted. Typically, the reason people change perfectly good links to specific, obscure links in wikis is usually self-advertising. I'll be watching that guy's edits in the future. Thanks for the heads up. Davidy²²[talk] 18:00, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Sightless readers offended by the "It's 'cause you're dumb" tagline.

I'll admit, every now and again the comic is over my head. ...because I'm dumb in that particular field. However, blind users who enjoy xkcd must do so through explainxkcd. They are NOT dumb. They are *blind*. Without explainxkcd, they would have no idea what is in the comics panels.

Explainxkcd is a great site. There is no question it provides a service to the internet community.

Please see this thread (last paragraph) on Userfriendly.org. Keep in mind, the end user is sightless and explainxkcd is "viewed" through a screen reader. http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/read.cgi?id=20160207&tid=3930989 (Anonymous)

The guy on that other site is complaining about that XKCD does not work well in a screen reader -- that is not our problem, but a problem for Randall to solve on his own site. We cannot be the catch all for everything on the internet that Randall broke Spongebog (talk) 15:37, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Agreed --Kynde (talk) 19:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Honestly, I never even noticed the tagline in question. Humorous to sighted folks, sure. ...but obviously offensive to those who have no choice but to access xkcd through explainxkcd.

I'll leave it to the administrators or the community to figure something out, if anything at all. Maybe no one cares? I didn't come here to make any suggestions, only to point out how offensive those 4 words are to some users of the website. 108.162.238.88 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Alright, put a link here in the site notice. What does everyone else think? I'm open to changing it, it's something people complain about fairly periodically and our identity isn't completely tied to the tagline, I feel. Davidy²²[talk] 09:16, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, we definitely shouldn't change anything because that particular guy is upset. It's one thing to be offended, but he's also attacking both this site and Randal Monroe. I don't think that sort of behavior should be rewarded. I actually have a rule online where, if someone acts like a jerk to me, I will be kind, but I won't give them what they want. I think a lot of the problems with people being jerks to others is that they still get what they want, so what reason do they have to stop? If he wants us to change it, he should address us like an adult and ask us himself.
But you claim this is a common complaint. Then I would say we need more info. My instinct would be that people don't understand that it's a joke. But then my solution would be to do what the site is designed to do and explain the joke, rather than take it down. If there's actually something about it that's offensive to an entire class of people, that's different. I am unaware of a stereotype that blind people are stupid, but I'm open to the idea that I don't know.
I'm not particularly married to the tag line. I actually didn't even notice it was there. But I'm loathe to take it down over a misunderstanding. I can't think of a similarly humorous replacement that would not be offensive, but I can at least suggest "Because nobody knows everything." --Trlkly (talk) 09:42, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I've gotten these before. There's a slowly growing section in the main page discussion page and a complaint buried somewhere in my talk page and they're usually quite unhappy. I pegged it up this time round because there's special needs involved, and a good part of our intended appeal is the transcripts for the blind. Davidy²²[talk] 10:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Is he one of those people who are so self-centered and 'entitled' that just because they have a disability they assume that everyone is constantly trying to offend them, even in the most unlikeliest of cases? Does he actually believe that the tag line was written with the intention of offending blind people? This is ridiculous. 141.101.106.71 11:04, 8 February 2016 (UTC)


"Just in case you feel dumb"? "Some comics may be funnier than they appear"?199.27.130.198 09:55, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

How about simply removing it? At least until we find something that isn't offensive to anyone - which might be very hard to obtain. Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 10:34, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Because you're crippled... That's worse I guess.
But before considering the "you're dumb" tagline, one must think about the name of this wiki. It is called Explain xkcd, not read xkcd, and explaining is for dumb people, not blind people.
Maybe one thing we can do is add a "(unless you are just here for the transcript)" subtext, with a link to the transcript section, which has the advantage of both taming offended blind readers (maybe) and provide a direct, "spoilerless" link. --GuB (talk) 10:40, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I need explainxkcd for two reasons: being visually impaired, although I can see most of the comics I often miss crucial details that I find only in the transcript; and as a non-American, I lack many cultural references (books, movies, songs, sayings...) that are given in the explanations. I don't think either of these reasons makes me "dumb". However, I never found the tagline offensive. It was immediately obvious to me that it was meant as humor. Who could seriously think that someone is dumb just because they haven't read the specific book that Randall is parodying in a given comic? Or because they're not familiar with a specific programming language or Unix command? IMHO the tagline *is* funny precisely because very few people can actually "get" all the comics without an explanation. Suggesting that anyone who isn't part of the 0.1% of the population who share all of Randall's abilities and references, is dumb, can't be anything but a joke. Adding to the lot those who can't get the comics because they're blind doesn't make the joke more offensive. It's a sad world where political correctness kills all forms of humor.

On the other hand, the tagline is not an essential part of the site and if a significant number want it removed, so be it. Zetfr 10:46, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Well not everybody's mind works the same way, and some people legitimately cannot grasp humor very easily. They may come to read the explanations precisely because they can't recognize what about a given comic is supposed to be humorous, and they likewise may not be able to tell that the tagline is just a joke. Besides, the tagline is equating a lack of knowledge with a lack of intelligence, which also makes it inaccurate and kind of kills the humor for those who stop and think about it.
I personally agree with the above "Because nobody knows everything." approach. I would suggest something along the lines of "Because you won't always get the joke." --108.162.242.134 11:06, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
This sounds like a bunch of dumb people coming together and suggesting that the rest of people should be more like them (joke intended) Spongebog (talk) 15:33, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
+1 on this. Keep. --SlashMe (talk) 20:15, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote removal Mikemk (talk) 11:01, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Mostly agree with Zetfr, it is a rather obvious joke, and this is a website about a webcomic which is mostly about fun, it would be different if this was some serious news portal, but it isn't, and in my humble opinion people who can't take a joke shouldn't even be here. There will always be ranters and people who get offended, we should not let them make decisions for us. I sincerely believe vast majority of people, blind or otherwise, understand it. Jaalenja (talk)

I agree with Zetfr. If a user doesn't understand that it is a joke, then he won't understand XKCD's jokes, either, no matter how much explaination he can get.
--Lou Crazy (talk) 12:12, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I also agree with the above, and like the part of Zetfr about because you need a reader to use the page you do not need to be offended by an obvious joke --Kynde (talk) 19:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

if i had a vote i'd say change the "because you're dumb" from text to a picture with alt text of something slightly less rude. "because you're using a screenreader," perhaps. although that would show up on mouseover. meh. whatever. --13:01, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

and someone isn't "entitled" because they get annoyed about something that doesn't annoy you. as a sighted person i don't even look at the headers on the page. i would imagine that since the text in question is at the top of the page he has to listen to it every single time the page is refreshed. which is annoying enough if it's not insulting. --141.101.106.161 13:06, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
It is bad to have the alt-text saying something differently, but since the current tagline is not offensive to non-blind people then why would it be offensive to a blind person. Spongebog (talk) 15:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep -- Blind people do not have to come to this site, they can just use xkcd.com directly and if that is not working for blind people then that is Randall's problem not ours. The tag line has been there for years while I have noticed it before and used the site and I have never been offended, if a blind person is offended maybe they should stop using the internet. 162.158.255.109 15:18, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I second that -- the tag line does not appear to offend non-blind people, it should not offend blind people either Spongebog (talk) 15:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Voting KEEP -- the tag line is a joke, and who is to say that blind people cannot be dumb Spongebog (talk) 15:24, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep as well. I don't see any reason to change it; it's not a jab at disabled people, blind or otherwise. The site is called explainxkcd, and everything here centers around explaining the comic, not being a transcription service. (If that's not the case, then maybe other things need changing too.) I always thought the tagline fit nicely with the "sarcasm" part of xkcd's own tagline. 108.162.216.26 15:26, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote KEEP and satisfy both sides. If you examine the HTML, or use Fangs (free screen reader), you may notice there is a jump-to-nav div element that lets people with screen readers jump to various parts of the page. The jump-to-nav div is only a few HTML lines below the tagline. I'd recommend:

  1. Moving the jump-to-nav div to before the tagline
  2. Adding a "Jump to Transcript" link in the jump-to-nav div.
  3. Test it with Fangs in Firefox to simulate a screen reader.

This way, screen-reader users can jump to the transcript and don't have to hear the tagline every time they visit an explainxkcd.com page. -- Hat (talk) 15:44, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Consider "Do you get it now?" 198.41.235.11 16:09, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep: it's reasonable and no change is warranted

I like the suggestion of keeping the current tagline, but changing it to an image with alttext saying something like "because you're using a screenreader". I also vote to move the link to the transcript to above the tagline. Rileysci (talk) 17:32, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I get the joke and I'm not offended by it, but it seems to me that it really sticks out on this site and it doesn't seem consistent with Randall's sense of humor. Everyone on this site is very inclusive and eager to share all perspectives and points of view. I come here both to see the humor that I have the knowledge to understand and to learn more about the world the way Randall sees it. In short, I come here to be one of the lucky 10,000. In fact, I would suggest that as the tag line, "Congratulations! You're one of today's lucky 10,000!". Inside joke that can link to the comic (http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1053:_Ten_Thousand) and it is welcoming. 108.162.245.170 18:44, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

+1 on this. Change Jkshapiro (talk) 03:45, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep. In case it is not kept then it should be changed to something completely different. Te idea of making a title text to an image I really dislike, although I even more dislike adding anything to the existing one to either refer to people coming for the transcript or making excuses for the obvious joke. This has been a part of the page forever, I have seen it almost every time I come here. To begin with I did feel dumb sometimes, but I was never offended by it, just amused. But of course an explain page is for those who did not get the joke. And there are other pages that explains the comic. I do not know if they have a transcript? But I'm happy to know that some people must really enjoy the detailed transcripts that I usually try to provide. I had just not though about the blind perspective. I more use the transcript to make sure every one agrees on what is seen in the images of the comic. Having said all this, I must admit that the best suggestion for a change so far is the one posted above my post (about the lucky 10,000). :-) --Kynde (talk) 19:28, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote keep, for exactly the reasons explained by Zeftr above. Changing it to an image with alt text would be OK also. Miamiclay (talk) 20:45, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote Change it because it is too easily mistaken as an insult instead of a joke. At least change it to Because you are stupid.... Ah, maybe instead Because xkcd is far beyond common knowledge or Because hardly anyone gets everything or Because it is usually nerdly esoteric even for geeks. 108.162.221.46 21:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I vote Change. I have never been a big fan of the tagline. I don't know everything, but I am certainly not dumb. Also, I echo the reference to (http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1053:_Ten_Thousand). This comic has always been about expanding knowledge, not making you feel guilty for not knowing something.
Change: I realize the "It's because you're dumb" tagline follows the sarcastic nature of Randall's humor, but there are enough people who don't get or appreciate that sort of humor and are likely to be more offended by it, special needs or no. Here's my suggestion: "For those of us who don't get it." KieferSkunk (talk) 21:59, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

At what point is "enough" people offended? I've only seen evidence of several (https://xkcd.com/1070/) visually impaired users actually offended by the site, along with a couple people who didn't specify their visual ability. I don't know the traffic on this site, but I would expect it to be on the order of 10^4 or higher. So is this discussion about changing something that a handful of people find offensive? Or is there an actual problem of something inappropriate on the site. If this is all about a couple people finding something offensive, I imagine a few christians might take issue with (https://xkcd.com/709/). Should we start another discussion about accommodating them? Or add a disclaimer that the views expressed by Randall Munroe are his own and do not reflect those of this site? Beardmcbeardson (talk) 01:25, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

So you vote to keep -- right? Spongebog (talk) 04:30, 9 February 2016 (UTC)


Slightly Change-- make it more obviously tongue in cheek. "It's cause we're dumb" or "For those of us who need it" I agree with the point about not complying with people on the internet who can't behave like adults, however I've never found the line particularly funny. Also change the jump-to-nav, as that would just get annoying to hear it every time you open up the site. I am not recommending changing it based on the imagined offenses of others. I just think it could be funnier.NotLock (talk) 06:29, 9 February 2016 (UTC)


Keep Trying to satisfy everyone is like trying to understand every comic. It probably won't happen. As an example, using the 'one of 10 000' example provided above can insult a bunch of people that are not from the States simply because the comic (and the reference to the comic for that matter) will make them feel left out. My other reasons for voting keep have all been mentioned already. People get insulted so easily, let's try not to encourage this behavior by rewarding it. Bon (talk) 07:16, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote Change because I find it slightly offensive myself. If we change it, we should replace it with something that everybody would interpret as humorous, e.g. "Because we can't all be rocket scientists". Condor70 (talk) 08:25, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep. Next thing we know, liberal arts majors will complain about xkcd science being offensive. 141.101.91.229 10:12, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote for change or remove. Regarding the former, while I know it's supposed to be a joke, I never found it humorous myself and, unlike others that wrote before me, I don't think it relates to the humor or sarcasm used by Randall. It being offensive is not part of my motivation for my vote. I agree with some of the suggestions written up to now. Regarding the latter, I don't really think it's existence is necessary. Regardless, changing the div things is a must. GuiRitter (talk) 16:25, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote for change. You could keep much of the humour by changing it to something like "because ignorance can be cured". Farnz (talk)


If I may vote (as a happy international user of this site, but not yet a contributor), one more vote for Keep - at least as "don't change now, because of this specific request, because of perceived offensiveness". For several reasons, which have been mentioned already:

a) I think it's funny. It also fits perfectly with the overall XKCD humor. And the same line of thinking as the book "You are now less dumb" from "YouAreNotSoSmart.com".

b) It's so obviously generic (directed at everyone reading it) I fail to understand how it can be interpreted as insult instead of irony. Even worse: I fail to understand why it should be _especially_ insulting to blind people. Having a transcript for them to use is nice, but it's merely one of the aspects this site provides (and it's not even at the top nor are there pages "transcript only", so blind are no primary audience)

c) If this site decides to actually help blind people more, how about: putting the tagline in the image (so it's not "read every time"), put the transcript at the top / provide pages with only transcripts, so that the original XKCD can be consumed prior to the explanations here (just as non-blind users would see it)

d) this request follows the current Outragism trend, so I do suspect that it's not actually blind people feeling offended, but privileged SJWs thinking about who might possibly feel offended, bringing change to the world where it's not beneficial even for those they claim to support. Comparable to PETA.

While I'm at it - THANK YOU for this site. Most XKCD I mostly understand. But due to being an international reader, some aspects of American Culture I need explainXKCD to grasp, and other aspects it's just nice to see more details, cross-references with other comics, and hidden gems. Zefiro (talk) 18:46, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm an "international user", too, and I suppose a lot of users of this site are international users who need to be explained some xkcd jokes that would be obvious to any native English speaker living in the US. I don't have an opinion about changing the tagline or keeping it, but I would like to notice that "Because you are dumb" is the kind of joke that would need an explanation - it would be hard for me to tell if it's a joke or an insult. Therefore, an easier joke could have some advantage.--Pere prlpz (talk) 22:16, 9 February 2016 (UTC)


I vote for change. I know it's a joke, but it's not particularly funny, and can easily be mistaken for an insult. Ekedolphin (talk) 20:13, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

I agree with Trlkly (and Isaac(https://xkcd.com/1448/)), more information is needed. The purpose of this site is to explain xkcd (obviously, from the name) so people come here primarily to seek knowledge or a better understanding about xkcd. As long as the explanations or the explainers don't act like white hat (https://xkcd.com/1386/), there should be no reason to take the tagline seriously.--Beardmcbeardson (talk) 01:20, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote KEEP, but I do support the idea of moving the jump-to to above the tagline. I believe that the tagline is obviously a joke, and that pleaing everyone is nigh impossible. I also strongly oppose the proposal to change it to an image with an alt-text of "because you're using a screen reader." Finally, I do not believe we should change the tagline. We should, if anything, remove it altogether. 173.245.54.20 03:33, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Slightly Change - I like 199.27.130.198's idea, "Just in case you feel dumb." Mateussf (talk) 04:44, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote Change, preferably to something like "The Anti Thing Explainer; Simple Stuff in Complicated Words!" Only, you know, more complicated to improve the joke. Amaroq (KitsunePhoenix) (talk) 05:01, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

What about: it's cause you need more context. I also don't like the current tagline, because dumbness would be more the inability to understand than a lack of knowledge.

Change - First thing first, as suggested, move the jump-to-nav div to before the tagline and add a "Jump to Transcript" link in the jump-to-nav div.

Then also change the tagline: it's not that good, and not that in line with the xkcd humor - it's actually directly opposed to the spirit of 1053. Some better ones have already been suggested:

  • "Some comics may be funnier than they appear"
  • "Congratulations! You're one of today's lucky 10,000!"
  • "because sometimes we all need a little help"

Or we could even have a bunch of good ones like that out of which one is selected at random when the page is loaded --Jules.LT (talk) 09:17, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I like the joke in the tag line (some of us come here because they are to stupid or to lazy to lookup all the information xkcd is joking about) but I also find it to direct to the user. I want to add some suggestions to Jules.LT sirKitKat (talk) 10:01, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

  • "Error loading tagline, click here to retry."
  • "Because it is Monday morning."
  • "Because you like explaining jokes."

I think people coming here and complaining because "dumb" appears to be aimed at insulting the blind are hilarious, because another meaning for "dumb" is "unable to speak." If people who were "dumb" in this way were complaining because we are using the other meaning of "dumb" it would be awkward, but degree of visual acuity is not open for the same misinterpretation. Swordsmith (talk)

KEEP for the same reasons as Zefiro. If change is necessary, fix it so the screen reader doesnt say it aloud. (This ensures the change is propagated to those who have no other recourse for sightless XKCD enjoyment, and is not a ploy by SJWs who can't take sarcastic humor (why are they reading XKCD in the first place?) 108.162.221.40 14:06, 10 February 2016 (UTC)


It is super obviously not intended seriously, because xkcd is a technical comic that nobody will understand entirely on the first pass. If it's true, then everybody is dumb. Boo hoo.

The guy in question is under the mistaken impression that Randall runs this site and maliciously hides his transcripts under the tagline. He's also very angry about a lot of things. Sighted people have to look at the tagline every time it loads too, it's at the top of the page.

I vote Keep because I hate negotiating with terrorists. If it has the effect of filtering out people who enjoy being outraged, then it's doing a service. Image search "stephen fry offensive".

I'd be fine with moving the jump-to-nav div. I'm absolutely against making it an image with a different tagline, because then we would be depriving blind people of the joke. I'm absolutely against changing it to something less offensive. I would settle for removing it entirely, or changing it to something more offensive, such as "It's 'cause you're dumb, and get offended over dumb shit."

Or, you know, make a transcribexkcd.com site. 108.162.217.203 16:39, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Change to one of the cool new suggestions I've seen. I've always been sad about this tagline, and while I love XKCD humor, I just don't think the tagline is funny. It makes me hesitate and sometimes decide not to share this site with others who I think would love the humor, but not the tagline. The issue keeps coming up, and this is just one more way that it irritates people and causes hassle. It's obvious to me that we should find a new tagline, or just drop it for the time being. Nealmcb (talk) 17:39, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Change The word "dumb" used as slang for "unintelligent" or "uneducated" is offensive and many better suggestions have been proposed, which retain the wry humor without the offense. Hiding behind "it's just a joke" is beneath the standards of this site. 108.162.245.134 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It's not hiding behind "just a joke", it IS the joke. It's tongue-in-cheek. It's so obviously false that you have to intentionally ignore the joke and manufacture offense about something benign. I'll give you that it's not that funny. It's also not that offensive. Why are we talking about something so petty. 108.162.221.11 21:11, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep. I feel like a blind person being insulted by the implication that being sightless somehow makes them unintelligent is a pretty far leap of logic. Not being able to see has no bearing whatsoever on your actual mental acuity. How many actual complaints have there been? One, a few, lots? I don't know, but if it was a significant number I might change my mind. As it stands, though, I think it's pretty clear in the site description that this site is meant for people who don't understand the comic due to its focus on obscure topics and use of technical jargon, being written by a former NASA robot technician with a bent for Linux. Using disabilities as an insult is something I don't condone, but in this case I think it's a case of certain individuals being overly sensitive. Thinking a word as mild as "dumb" is offensive is a bit much, especially since it's often used in contexts other than "uneducated" or "stupid" - I use it to describe myself all the time when I can't word proper-like. I think of it more as "scatter-brained". --KingStarscream (talk) 18:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)


Change I feel like the "Because we can't all be rocket scientists" tagline suggested above is great; I always found the tagline to be a bit annoying because I often know all of a comic except a small part, and I come here for that. It's just unnecessarily confrontational and Randall himself has expressed in https://xkcd.com/1386/ and https://xkcd.com/1053/ that he doesn't agree with insulting ignorance. 198.41.235.179 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Change AND Keep I get the original joke, but I love some of the new ones too. Randomly rotating tag line appear is my vote, BUT let's make the tag line clickable so that we can explain the tag line .... for those of us who don't get the joke! 108.162.216.10 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Keep, but change the jump-to-nav, and maybe make the tagline clickable. I like the tagline. Someone already said this, but this is explainxkcd, not readxkcd. 108.162.216.63 19:37, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I vote Keep, because it's been there for so long! I remember coming here years ago and looking for the references I didn't get, and the tagline was already there. It's a legacy thing, the one thing remaining from the old website in the new fancy wiki format. 198.41.226.204 20:47, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

For all you people being offended and claiming that the tagline is contrary to the spirit of xkcd, I give you xkcd.com/386. This entire argument is offensive to me, can we remove it? 108.162.221.11 21:20, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Keep The referenced posting is obviously a troll. And xkcd has transcripts so the story of the self proclaimed blind person with diabetes does not make sense. --23:43, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Rather than "cuz you're dumb" which both asserts a trait and uses what might not be the best word choice, why not something like "Because you might be ignorant"? Dumb, after all, isn't remediable, though ignorance is. (Also, a consideration, "dumb" can mean "mute," so if there's something with screenreading for blindness, that could be read as assuming more than one disability? ("blind and dumb" akin to "deaf and dumb"?) // Possibly do something akin to the warning on the comic's site itself: "Because you might be a liberal arts major." 108.162.221.61 00:22, 11 February 2016 (UTC)


Keep because risk of accidental offence is never a good reason to rewrite comedy. If community wants to change suggest "Explaining Xtremely Klever Comedic Drawings"; if only to troll those who insist that the letters XKCD must stand for something (which it doesn't) Kev (talk) 00:37, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

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