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They are in fact two different devices that are commonly mistaken. A "measuring stick" is a stick of a given length that is used to reference another object from it's total length. These usually have no markings as such, or any calibrated length. A "ruler" (aka straightedge) IS calibrated and has measurement markings. It is used to "rule" straight lines to an exacting measurement. Originally designed for the engineering industry, they have been useful in countless other areas throught history. A 2 second Google search revealed this:

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Q: Why do you call a measuring stick a ruler?
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Related questions

Can you give example of how can you measuring distance?

with a meter stick or a ruler

What are 3 different tools that can be used for measuring length?

ruler, meter stick, yard stick.

What things can you measure?

ruler. protector, yard stick, measuring tape

What do you call a king that is good at measuring things?

A ruler!

What instrument use in measuring length?

There are many. Though the ones most commonly used are the ruler and the measuring stick.

What are six instruments for measuring lines?

* Yard stick * Ruler * Protractor * Centimeters

What are different kinds of measuring tools?

A ruler, Tape measure, Meter stick

What is a tool for measuring distance?

A ruler, or a metre stick, or a tapemeasure, or a mileometer (on a car) etc...

What is a homophone or homonym for queen?

A homonym for "queen" is "ruler," which also means a measuring stick.

What is the difference between a ruler and a meter stick?

a ruler is shoter than a meter stick ~ A typical ruler is 12 inches, however, there are many other measuring devices also called rulers. A meter stick is around 3 yards, I believe.

What do they call the ruler in cuba?

cuba have a communist ruler

How do you spell rualer?

A measuring stick, or a king, is a ruler. (The spelling Rualer is a company in South America.)