The sample wordlist for the language box is designed for useful comparison. Where multiple words might fit the English glosses, the following principles are used:
- The numbers are those used in counting, in the least marked form
- The words for ‘river’ and ‘town’ are those most useful for parsing geographical terms
- ‘People’ should be the name for an ethnic group (as opposed to, say, a group of persons)
- ‘Big’ and ‘little’ should be the basic oppositional adjectives, or their equivalent, in the least marked form
(‘Least marked’ is a linguistic term, meaning the default, non-salient morphological form, generally singular and nominative, with the most general gender or word class. This is normally the citation form, that is, the form occurring in a lexicon.)
Naturally any complications or caveats are suppressed. If you get into a social situation where humiliation or disfigurement results from using one of these words incorrectly, the language box disclaims all responsibility.