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How can I express that an explanation is clear, considering the intrinsic difficulty of the topic? I mean that the explanation might not be easy to understand, if the subject matter is intrinsically hard, but a superlatively adjectivy explanation is one that is as clear as it can get. Someone who frequently produces such explanations could be said to have good teaching skills. What's a good word to substitute for adjectivy?

The word that comes to my mind is the French word “pédagogique”, which a dictionary describes as meaning roughly “as coming from a good teacher”. Unfortunately the corresponding English word has negative connotations instead.

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What is the English equivalent word that you looked? As far as I know, pedagogic doesn't have a negative connotation. – kiamlaluno Mar 13 '11 at 0:16
If the related word is indeed pedagogic or pedagogical, then there is no negative connotation, but I don't think it's what the asker is looking for either. Both words simply mean "related to teaching". – sapphiremirage Mar 13 '11 at 0:25
@sapphiremirage: In fact, you can replace teaching with pedagogic and get a sentence like "they show great pedagogic skills." I don't think there is an English words that means "coming from a good teacher". As for the negative connotation associated with pedagogue, both pedagogue and French pédagogie come from a Greek word that was used to denote a slave who accompanied a child to school. – kiamlaluno Mar 13 '11 at 0:32
@kiamlaluno: Pedagogue: “One who by teaching has become formal, positive, or pedantic in his ways; (…) a pedant.” (one of the meanings in Webster 1913, which defines pedagogic by reference to pedagogue). Wiktionary (I know, not reliable) gives “haughty and formal” as a meaning. So pedagogic looks neutral or negative (whereas the French word is neutral or positive). – Gilles Mar 13 '11 at 0:37
Pedagogic: of or relating to teaching; pedagogue: a teacher, especially a strict or pedantic one. [The New Oxford American Dictionary.] – kiamlaluno Mar 13 '11 at 0:42
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Lucid is an excellent candidate; perspicuous is a worthy synonym. Thus:

  • ...but a superlatively lucid explanation is one that is as clear as it can get.
  • ...but a superlatively perspicuous explanation is one that is as clear as it can get.
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Lucid and perspicuous, as proposed by Jimi, are good matches. If you want to convey the meaning of “convincing” in addition to “teaching”, you can also go with cogent.

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+1 for "lucid" and "cogent." I think cogent is particularly good. – jbelacqua Mar 18 '11 at 16:28

A few words that may or may not inspire:

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