If you’re anything like me — a glasses-wearing girlie who spends all her waking hours staring at a screen — you’ll usually have a little trouble finding your seat number in the theatre.

It’s dark, there’s a bunch of people moving around and you don’t want to hold anyone up by staring too intently at seat numbers in the aisle. It’s so awkward I’m cringing even thinking about it.

If you’ve ever been confused by the lack of a row “I” or even “O” when searching for your seat in a crowded theatre, don’t worry. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you.

It turns out theatres really do skip those letters, and the reason is actually pretty clever.

Reddit user u/tapit shared their findings after attending a show at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre and noticing the lack of an “I” row of seats.

They emailed the theatre and received a very friendly and informative reply.

“It has been a very long tradition in theatres around the world that there is no row ‘I’ and no row ‘O’,” the email read.

“The origins of the tradition… have been lost to time but the working theory is that the letter ‘I’ is easily confused with number 1, and O is of course almost identical to the number ‘0’ and letter ‘Q’.

“In dimly lit theatres, and particularly when tickets were handwritten back in the 1800s, these were easily confused by box office staff and ushers when showing patrons to their seats.”

Well I’ll be! A quick Google search backs up the claims in this post, with Playbill noting that some theatres also choose to omit Row Q.

I love this for all my glasses-wearing besties. Someone hundreds of years back was really looking out for us.