Imagine the following scenario:
You've detected that your (or someone else's) program has a bug - a function produces the wrong result when given a particular input. You examine the code and can't find anything wrong: it just seem to bog out when given this input.
You can now do one of two things: you either examine the code further until you've found the actual cause; or you slap on a bandage by adding an
if statement checking if the input is this particular input - if it is, return the expected value.
To me, applying the bandage would be completely unacceptable. If the code is behaving unexpectingly on this input, what other input that you've missed will it react strangely to? It just doesn't seem like a fix at all - you're just shoveling the problem under the rug.
As I wouldn't even consider doing this, I'm surprised at how often the professors and books keep reminding us about how applying "bandage" fixes is not a good idea. So this makes me wonder: just how common are these kinds of "fixes"?