Funny how phrases you haven't heard for ages suddenly pop up again, and then again.
Twice in the past 24 hours I've spotted "the sword of Damocles" in different places. And it reminded me that I used to hear this phrase very frequently at work at one time.
In the magistrates' courts, the same solicitors are at court day after day, with a selection of their regular customers. You get used to their little foibles - the ones who have to say everything at least five times, even though they must see how everyone in court glazes over after the third repeat; the ones that always want to borrow a hanky; the ones who get animated only about football; the ones who've had their sense of humour surgically removed.
Anyway, solicitors have their favourite phrases too. One always mitigated using the expression "this unfortunate young man", and there was also one who spent much time trying to persuade the magistrates to impose a community penalty instead of a custodial one (he had those sort of clients), and always, always used the phrase "sword of Damocles".
Ah, happy days!