Precedence Lossage

/pre-sə-dən(t)s läsij/

[C programmers]

n. 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, smash the stack, fandango on core, overrun screw.