How Do You Troubleshoot the Shell/Bash Script Error “syntax error near unexpected token”?

Problem scenario
You are trying to run a bash/shell script but you get an error message that is difficult to troubleshoot.  It looks something like this: line 4: syntax error near unexpected token `curl' line 4: `curl '' '

You thoroughly analyzed the line of the script that is called out in the error.  What is the root cause?

Did you define a function in the script?  The true problem may not be on the line that is called out in the error message.  If you defined a function like this "coolfunction{", this will cause the above problem.  The error message is misleading.  You need a space after the text "coolfunction" but before the opening brace "{".

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