Talk:Dispatch box

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

I might be wrong here - but isn't despatch the American spelling?

I had understood that the correct spelling is 'Dispatch Box'

This isn't a case of Britain versus America. Dispatch is the recommended spelling in every modern reference book I can find, but despatch does seem to be quite popular.
  • OED:dispatch only; describes despatch as an error
  • Fowler's Modern: dispatch only
  • Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors: dispatch only
  • Chambers Dictionary: prefers dispatch
  • Dr. Walter W. Skeat. in An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, quoted in New York Times (1902): says despatch is correct
  • The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993: Dispatch is the usual spelling, despatch an infrequent Standard variant.
  • Guardian and Observer style guide (UK): dispatch, dispatch box (Commons), dispatched; not despatch, despatched
Based on these sources I don't think we should be using despatch in Wikipedia.
--Heron (talk) 14:53, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
On the other hand, there is this counterexample:
but then dispatch and despatch get almost equal numbers of ghits on --Heron (talk) 15:22, 29 April 2009 (UTC)
  • James Murray, founder of the OED, had strong opinions on the matter. In his Romanes Lecture in 1900 [1] he blamed "this erroneous spelling despatch" on Samuel Johnson. I suppose this explains why the OUP is so unanimous on the issue, and why others cling to the opposite view even though Johnson's version was obviously a clerical error.
--Heron (talk) 15:40, 29 April 2009 (UTC)


Is it true that they are lead-lined, so that they sink if thrown into water (to protect the secrets of state)? Reference: [2] section 4.2 Richard W.M. Jones 18:18, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


I know this is true, need reference though!! I heard it on an interview on the number 10 website. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:59, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Books inside[edit]

I added

"The box on the Government's side houses a number of holy books of various religions including a Bible and a Qu'ran. The Opposition's box contains a burnt Bible, dating back to the destruction of the Commons chamber during the second world war by a German bomb. The Bible was resting on the centre table at the time the bomb detonated and remarkably was recovered largely intact."

Because I am sure this is true, I have heard it from several MPs I have spoken to and other knowledgeable persons. So either it is true or very popular Commons' rumour. --skellious (talk) 14:27, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Merging Article to Red Box (Government)[edit]

Unless there are objections, I have looked at Red Box (Government) and this page (Dispatch Box) and find that there is enough of an overlap to warrent a merge. Also that on Red Box it specifically indicates that another name is Dispatch Box with no relevant links.

As this page was first indicated for merging in October 2008, I will begin merging the pages shortly. I have placed the relevant templates on each page.

Jonathan (talk) 13:29, 21 October 2009 (UTC)