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Idaho State University

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Precedence Lossage
  • /pre's*-dens los'*j/ n. [C programmers] Coding error in an expression due to unexpected grouping of arithmetic or logical operators by the compiler. Used esp. of certain common coding errors in C due to the nonintuitively low precedence levels of `&', `|', `^', `<<', and `>>' (for this reason, experienced C programmers deliberately forget the language's baroque precedence hierarchy and parenthesize defensively). Can always be avoided by suitable use of parentheses. LISP fans enjoy pointing out that this can't happen in *their* favorite language, which eschews precedence entirely, requiring one to use explicit parentheses everywhere. See aliasing bug, memory leak, memory smash, smash the stack, fandango on core.