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March 2002
The following query is really very simple: there's not even a table involved. What is the result of this expression ?
1> select +2*-1*-3+-2--1*+3 
2> go
Answer:
The result of this expression is 4 (did you think it was 7 ?)
This is a bit of trick question: the clue is that the characters -- are actually a comment according to the ANSI SQL syntax. Therefore, the expression being evaluated only consists of +2*-1*-3+-2, and --1*+3 is ignored as a comment.
As I said, this is a trick question, and all those + and - signs are only there to trick you into the wrong answer!
It's not completely hypothetical however: I once made this mistake myself...

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