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Above is correct...
Straight Steerer = Steerer tube being 1 1/8" over the total lenght
Tapered Steerer = Steerer tube being 1 1/2" at bottom (crown) and tapering up to 1 1/8" for the top section.

Most modern bikes have switched over to the tapered steerer tube headtube/set on their frames in the last 5 or so years. Older than that really depended on what type of bike you were riding.
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