Simple help with local macros

This seems like a ridiculous request for help but I just cannot figure out where I'm going wrong. I have tried replicating the examples in the stata manual and as you can see from the script below my local macros seem to be misbehaving.

. local shortcut "myvar thisvar thatvar"

. list `shortcut'
no variables defined

. local cmd "clear"

. `cmd'

. local prefix "my"

. local suffix "var"

. display `prefix' `suffix'
my not found

. local eqn "2+2"

. local result = 2+2

. display `eqn' `result'

. display `eqn'

This last test of local I found especially bizarre since I thought stata was meant to copy the "2+2" as a string and the expression result = 2+2 as the answer. It seems to be storing strings incorrectly?
Can anyone help?