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This side pursuit, however, is important, as it influences my approach to teaching in a crucial, but often overlooked, manner.

Is there a single word that would work the same way as "crucial, but often overlooked"?

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closed as off topic by Robert Cartaino Dec 22 '11 at 0:10

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Sounds like the Unsung Hero badge. – Daniel Dec 21 '11 at 19:48
I don't mean to be snippy, but what's wrong with "crucial, but often overlooked"? A lot of these "single word" requests apparently expect there to be a single word to describe every possible concept. Like, "Is there a single word to describe a person who is wearing a blue shirt while riding on a bicycle on his way home from work at a restaurant that serves pancakes and who must swerve to avoid hitting a dog named Rover that is blind in one eye?" – Jay Dec 21 '11 at 20:00
Working on it, @Jay...Is that the dog who is blind in one eye, or the bicycle rider? – JeffSahol Dec 21 '11 at 21:23
@JeffSahol: Good point. I guess I need two words! – Jay Dec 21 '11 at 21:28
C'mon guys! English is better than that! We need four words - one for each permutation of dog/rider, and blindness in left/right eye! Unless maybe we can use levo-/dextro- prefixes for that. :) – FumbleFingers Dec 21 '11 at 23:09
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Unacclaimed and its synonyms or underestimated and its synonyms might be the best single-word fits. I personally like underrated.

However, in your example, a single word would probably not be the most appropriate, since crucial is the only reason the "side pursuit" is important, not overlooked. The side pursuit is not important for being underrated, so you wouldn't want to replace "crucial, but overlooked" with any single word that has the connotation of being overlooked.

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Partially fitting, but they don't convey that something is crucial. – yoozer8 Dec 21 '11 at 19:58

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