Many BTEQ commands serve the purpose of enabling the state of a persistent setting to be changed. For example, RETRY command use enables users to change the state of BTEQ's RETRY setting to either ON or OFF. The SHOW CONTROLS command enables users to see the current state of such settings.
In general, BTEQ is strict about command syntax violations. When it detects a violation, it will produce an error message and attempt to keep the prior state of settings preserved.