core.user_setup_afterand load your language file. Everything you have there will overwrite language keys previously loaded.
Nowadays there's actually little to no need for editing core files. I would say that almost anything that needs customizing can be accomplished through extensions and events including things like changing behavior or what is returned for language keys. Plus adding a CSS override is as easy as adding a CSS file to the same extension that gets appended to the header and override classes there as needed. This is what I do for all clients that need customized style changes for their forums.
There are also events which allow to create mini-extensions that can override things for "that and this and there", not only language.
Not if you ever want to modify that file - although there are online utilities that will "unminify". Also if it part of an extension then both files should be in the extension.
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