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When reading about best practices and code reviews, I have come across a word/phrase that people on forums have used to describe code that should be a warning sign that the programmer may have missed something or made a mistake.

A sample sentence would have gone something like this: "Often if you see a single if statement with 10 ands/ors, it is a _____, though in certain cases it can be correct."

What is this word? I want to include this in a code review document I am writing.

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Hm... memegenerator.net/instance/13262772 –  Mehrdad Jan 16 '12 at 0:12
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Why aren't the terms "red flag" or "warning sign" sufficient? –  Thomas Owens Jan 16 '12 at 0:48
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up vote 16 down vote accepted

"Code smell" is probably the word you're looking for:

In computer programming, code smell is any symptom in the source code of a program that possibly indicates a deeper problem.

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That's it!!! Thank you! –  GendoIkari Jan 16 '12 at 1:11
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I'd shy away from using the term "code smell" in a formal document, however. Terms such as "red flag", "warning sign", "indicator" or "X is indicative of Y" are more professional and more readily to be accepted/understood by non-programmers. –  Thomas Owens Jan 16 '12 at 1:21
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@ThomasOwens - if you're talking about specific pieces of code, then you obviously aren't talking to non-programmers. "Code smell" has an accepted meaning within the profession, I see no reason not to use it. –  Mike Baranczak Jan 16 '12 at 3:29
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