My head canon is Roger called it Laugh Tale but the populace picked up on it as Raftel, because the general populace wasn't in on the joke. Either way it wasn't something Oda honed in on hard as something specific until the most recent movie, where he put out an English spelling and the characters began pronouncing it with more emphasis on that than they did previously. it was never pushed as a focus for the last 22 years. It may even be a thing where the ambiguity of the language is a case where it allowed Oda to sneak that in under the radar, possibly unplanned until recently. It wouldn't be the first time he's had wonkiness with the R/L thing, jike like Loguetown/Roguetown. It is meant to be like prologue or like thieves? It's… japanese, its both.
A similar thing happened in Berserk where it turned out The Band of the Hawk was always intended to be Falcon, as the words are interchangeable in Japanese, but NO ONE caught on, not even the japanese staff or official merchandise or japanese artbooks, until Muira eventually did an obvious Star Wars Millennium Falcon joke like 20 years in.
Language is fluid and no translation between two different languages is going to be perfect, but the team translating it currently are super passionate fans that used to be super big trusted regulars here, so Stephen's translation is going to be about as good as it gets, even if he's saddled with some decisions that were made before he took over.
As for Dogstorm and Catviper, yeah, they fall into the same ambiguous space as Blackbeard and Whitebeard. Stepen was conflicted and specifically asked the Japanese editor about it. You don't change Nami's name to Wave, but physical descriptor names are a grey area when it comes to making sure it works in the other language's tongue. Because it loses a little something with Shirohige and Kurohige. An even weirder middleground is Kuma, where its his proper name and shouldn't be translated, but LOTS of bear jokes are made about him and that pun is completely lost in translation, so just maybe he should have been named Bartholomew Bear in English... but that one is an extreme outlier.
As for Oars, even JAPANESE readers didn't understand what his name was, Oz, Ohz, Ozu, Ohrz, no one could figure it out, which is why the characters make a joke about it during Thriller Bark, and Oda then made it a point to have Oars III appear in english on a sail.
Lots of good points here, and I like the headcanon of the name shifting over time to the general populace, though it's a little rough that Crocus of all people was getting it wrong. You have to wonder if any of Oda's L/R misdirects are intentional at this point, using the Japanese language to keep it as a schrodinger's letter. As in, we weren't meant to have read it as Laugh Tale from the start, we were meant to be unsure even then if was ever going to be that. A version of the text that gives the true and unambiguous name of the final island away just after chapter 100 might not actually be what he intended. But unfortunately, English translation doesn't work that way, it requires you to commit to one version and one meaning in order to work.
Just as good in Berserk was twentyish years of going to see the elf ruler, described with a gender-neutral term in Japanese, translated confidently as the Elf King, then revealed at the end of the journey to be the Elf Queen instead. Whoops.
Dogstorm and Catviper for me could go either way at this point. Usually I'm all about keeping the descriptive names for the sake of capturing author intent, but it kinda doesn't matter because Oda hasn't done anything with them being that way. I don't recall any gags where a character is introduced to them and responds with "that's a weirdly literal name" or any other scene where you'd need to know what their names mean for it to work. Literally descriptive names aren't something any other mink uses (maybe Blackback I guess), but then again, neither are extremely Japanese-sounding names. There hasn't really been a single point in the text when the Englishness or Japaneseness of the dukes' names has mattered one iota.
Japan apparently still can't figure Oars out. The anime log collections for Thriller Bark, released years after the correct spelling was shown at Marineford in both anime and manga, still have him as Ohz on the cover. I think it just doesn't matter that much to the Japanese staff.