“I’m telling you, Who’s on First…”
- Bud Abbott
St. Louis is a multi-sport city, but we love our baseball most of all. Even Abbott and Costello recognized as much in their famous routine where they regaled our fine baseball town and fictional players with funny names. Lou Costello’s dogged inquiry into the lineage of the lineup reminds me of another historical figure who encouraged getting to the bottom of things with pertinacity. Of course this character is an Ancient Greek, Hermagoras of Temnos, an orator and rhetorician from the 1st Century BC. I am certain he and Aristotle yucked it up quite a bit just like ol’ Bud and Lou. Hermagoras is credited with developing the rhetorical method of dividing a topic into “seven circumstances” (who, what, when, where, why, in what way, by what means), inspiration for the “5W’s” (and 1H – “How”) used by journalists, educators, and dare I say construction professionals to ensure they cover all the bases of a topic. So then, in honor of Hermagoras, opening day and the “best comedy sketch of the 20th century,” I thought it appropriate to address the first of those questions as it applies to indemnity clauses in construction contracts: Who?