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Judith Anne Spencer Merrill has the 'nicknumber' of 99. It was given to her when she was teaching at Pan American Business College, in Richmond, VA, in 1966. She had explained her grading policy on the first day, that you would receive a grade of A if you did good work, but that the actual numeric grade you would likely receive would be a 99 - that she would only mark a paper as 100 if it was perfect - spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. The following Monday, each time she turned to the blackboard, her students giggled and snickered, but these were tuition-paying women students ranging from 18 to 80, not given to giggling. Finally, at the end of the class, she asked what was going on, and one of the students replied "Miss Spencer, we are only going to give you a 99 for today's lecture, although the class was great - you've been lecturing with your dress's long zipper unzipped all the way down your back." Within minutes, the class had given her the 'nicknumber' 99; this was also the time when Get Smart, with Agent 87 and Agent 99, was popular. See also the "CodeSharks" page at http://www.mxg.com, which is Chapter 99.
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