How do we know which words are more proper?
I've been wondering this a lot lately. How do we know which word is more proper than the other. I'll give some examples below.
Budaismo - Budhismo - Buddismo
Glavofiŝo - Ksifio
Basbalo - Bazbalo
Budao - Budho - Buddo
Akvafalo - Akvofalo
Sometimes you don't ... or at least it's difficult.
The method might go something like this...
Cross check in a few dictionaries... use good ones. Search various ways to see which terms are more common. Check for false hits. Ask around... Sometimes there is more than one right answer.
I would say "Budhismo" is correct, but I recall there's some variation in usage there.
Basbalo. (Where did you see "bazbalo"?)
Akvofalo (where did you see "akvafalo"?)
I found something called : Esperanto English Dictionary / Translator Free for IOS. I assume that's the same thing. I would ditch it. I don't see anything in the description to say where the words came from. Is there any information like that in the ap itself?
If it comes from ESPDIC, then absolutely ditch it right away. Don't even think about it. ESPDIC openly says that its goal is to document all Esperanto words, regardless of whether they're correct.
I like Dave Rutan's suggestion below.
I use Posha Revo on my device. The words come from Reta Vortaro and it works when I'm away from wifi.
Esperante, dececo preskaŭ ne ekzistas. Ja kelkaj vortoj estas fiaj, sed krom tiuj vortoj, via dececo nur dependas je la temoj, kiujn vi priparolas. Kompreneble ekzistas komunikstiloj, kiuj estas pli bonaj ol aliaj, sed tio plejparte temas pri malbone elparolitaj konstruitaj vortoj. Ekzemple, akvfalo estas pli malbona ol akvofalo.
La plej efika montrilo de via "ĝusteco" estas kiom komprenble vi parolas. Pli da Esperantistoj komprenas la vorton timema pli ol nervoza, aŭ fekomanĝemo pli ol koprofagio. Via komprenebleco montras vian respekton al aliaj homoj, kiuj eble ne konas la nenecesajn kromajn vortojn, kiuj estis enŝovitaj en la ligvon senbezone.
- all three, although the two others lead to "Budho", meaning that's the main entry and
are correct for your examples, other words don't have entries. Still, use of words are affected by regional conditions.
I believe you're misrepresenting PIV ... at least with regards to ksifio.
Looking at the version of PIV at vortaro.net, I notice the following.
- The entry for ksifio lists the synonym spadfiŝo
- Spadfiŝo has an entry under fiŝo
- Glavfiŝo has an entry under fiŝo
Nowhere in PIV does it say which of these three words is "most proper." It also looks like you're making similar errors with regards to some of the other terms. I have full confidence in your ability to read. Where I think you're going wrong is what you conclude from an the presence of an entry in PIV.
There may be good reasons to prefer some of these terms and not the others, but to say that one is preferred "according to PIV" in this context is misleading ... at the very best.
I admit I didn't read the entries to the end, thank you for calling me on my carelessness!(Also, another goal of the comment was to say the site was more trustworthy than most possible apps :-) )
But, I notice I did conclude similar results from e.g. English dictionaries. From my point of view (which I now put under scrutiny), if a dictionary includes only one entry for a series of similar words, it means that word is more common than its similars, and "more common" would be generally seen as "more proper" (although I understand it's very dependent on the situation... I'll have to think more about this, thank you!)
As an exercise for the reader -- how would you determine whether to say "mefito" or "skunko". :-)
I response to your last comment:
This is the line of thought I went into:
According to Voratro.net, I think the meaning "skunk skin" would be preferable over "skunk" for "skunko", while "mefito" is "skunk" only?
Oooor alternatively, "skunko" would be the common way to say "skunk" (oh, I see :D ) while "mefito" is the scientific term!
Point taken, sir! It's rare to find someone who would engage me in exercise to tell me I was wrong, you have my sincere thanks!