Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Soundings

The history of box ticking

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 07 September 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:557
  1. James Owen Drife
  1. professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Leeds

    No one knows when or where the first human being ticked the first box. The word “tick” does not appear in the Bible. Archaeologists have found no traces of boxes—ticked, crossed, or otherwise—in Egyptian papyruses, French caves, or Asian temples. Someone has even proposed the highly implausible theory that in the past great civilisations flourished without questionnaires.

    Aerial photography in Peru, however, has revealed regular rows …

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