When I was growing up my grandmother had a phrase for every occasion, which would usually encapsulate the entire situation. It was something passed on from generation to generation: these wise sayings which in a few words held much thought.
There are a few I can remember now : ‘the difference between a rut and a grave is about 6 feet’; ‘old sins cast long shadows’ and ‘like father, like son.’
I don’t have a repository to pass on to my son. I tried a phrase once and he just looked at me blankly. It is a shame but I think these old words and compact wisdoms are being eroded. A shame, but there it is.