Therefore, the expression
x ? : y
has the value of
if that is nonzero; otherwise, the value of
This example is perfectly equivalent to
x ? x : y
In this simple case, the ability to omit the middle operand is not especially useful. When it becomes useful is when the first operand does, or may (if it is a macro argument), contain a side effect. Then repeating the operand in the middle would perform the side effect twice. Omitting the middle operand uses the value already computed without the undesirable effects of recomputing it.