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This is a stupid question. Do Americans call rulers rulers? I'm quite sure you do but I've not heard it said.

Thanks.
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Are you referring to flat measuring devices or heads of state?

Those flat measuring devices are called rulers, yes.
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The twelve inch wooden rulers teachers smack you with are called rulers.

36-inchers are called yardsticks (wooden). (also good for smacking)

Six foot folding carpenter's rules are called rules. (wooden or plastic).

Stretch scales (spring retractable/coiled steel tapes) are called rules, twelve-foot rules, steel tapes, etc.

50-foot steel tapes that you reel in are usually called tapes.

Cloth tapes that tailors use are called tape measures.

Any stiff metal ruler which a machinist uses is called a scale (6", 12", 18" 36")

A ruler which a draftsman or engineer uses is called a scale. In the field, an engineer (building engineer / archetect) would probably use a retractable tape.

Edit. Come to think of it, which one did you mean??
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Comments  
Hi,
Without context, the term usually suggests despotic / authoritarian / hereditary.
We tend not to use the word for democratically elected governments.

Clive
Grammar Geekflat measuring devices
Thanks. Sorry. I didn't cross my mind that there are multpile meanings,
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 Avangi's reply was promoted to an answer.

God. It looks like a chapter on measuring devices!!!

AvangiThe twelve inch wooden rulers teachers smack you with are called rulers. (I meant this. Are you kidding? I mean, is it still a common practise? I know it used to happened twenty years ago in my country)

36-inchers are called yardsticks (wooden). (also good for smacking)

I think you mean this.

Six foot folding carpenter's rules are called rules. (wooden or plastic). You mean this?
Foldable ruler?

Stretch scales (spring retractable/coiled steel tapes) are called rules, twelve-foot rules, steel tapes, etc.

50-foot steel tapes that you reel in are usually called tapes. (I would call them measuring tapes, acceptable?)

Cloth tapes that tailors use are called tape measures. (I would call them measuring tapes)

Any stiff metal ruler which a machinist uses is called a scale (6", 12", 18" 36") (I have no idea what it looks like, any picture? a wooden 'scale' is a ruler? Is material the difference?)

A ruler which a draftsman or engineer uses is called a scale. In the field, an engineer (building engineer / archetect) would probably use a retractable tape. ( I can't picture this either. Any pictures?)

When in Fiji, the standard for smaller measurement is either centimeter or inch. I have bought 3 twelve-inch/30 cm rulers. I became confused with trying to measure inches in fractions. All of the rulers have both markings, but not one of them provides a measurement on the inch side where you can see 1/4 inch, 1/8th inch, 1/16 inch or 1/32 of an inch. Each inch side is has one long mark in the middle of an inch with 8 marks on either side between it and the inch lines. 17 marks between each set of inch marks. Any fraction smaller than 1/2 inch, you are on your own in a sea of marks which are hard to comprehend for anyone used to an American ruler.

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