Category Archives: Textual

10 Types of People

Title: 10 Types of People

General Information about Item:

  • Joke
  • English
  • United States

Informant Data:

  • Milan Chuttani is a Dartmouth ’18. He majors in Government and minors in computer science. He is most familiar with the computer languages Java and Python. He grew up in the state of Massachusetts.

Contextual Data:

  • Social Context
    • This joke would be popular to those who have at least a basic understanding of programming. Understanding the binary system is a very basic and introductory part of the general programming curriculum so even beginners would likely get it. Therefore it would be very common to first hear it in an introductory course on programming. Although this joke can be said verbally, it makes the most sense when presented in written form as 10 in binary would be called “zero one”, not “ten”, but the joke requires that the teller says “ten” as mistaking 10 for “ten” in integral to the joke.
  • Cultural Context
    • This joke is essentially a pun, except instead of using a word or phrase it uses the standard numerical system in programming. This joke also is one of those that would make beginner programmers feel part of a larger group. The joke is not so complex that they would not be able to understand it, but at the same time those who do not have any experience with binary or programming would be lost. In this way, it could give programmers of all skill levels a feeling of being “in” on something like a secret handshake or something along those lines. This builds a welcoming atmosphere for beginning programmers.
    • Milan encountered the joke on a T-shirt, making this particular piece a kind of material folklore.


There are only 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don’t.


  • Robert: Could you please give your name and background?
  • Milan: Yeah, my name is Milan. I am an 18’ and a Gov major and computer science minor.
  • Robert: Could you please tell your joke?
  • Milan: Yep, there are only 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don’t.
  • Robert: Could you please tell me where you first got this joke from?
  • Milan: I saw it on a T-shirt somewhere and thought it was funny.
  • Robert: Could you please briefly explain the joke?
  • Milan: On the shirt there was a ‘1’ and a ‘0’ as opposed to a ‘10’ which in binary is two. So it’s funny because at first you think it’s ten types of people, but it’s actually just two.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file):


Collector’s Name: Robert Sylvia


  • Joke. Binary. T-shirt. Pun.