I would like to report a crime. Several, in fact. And in each case the victim is the English language.

Last week I explained that somebody has coined the nightmarish word quarandream to describe the apparent prevalence of anxiety dreams related to the stress of lockdown.

It is what is known as a portmanteau, combining parts of two words to form a new one. And I hate them.

As someone who has earned a living from words and enjoys little more than reading how cleverly great writers can put them together, it also follows that I take offence when my beautiful mother tongue is butchered by clever Dicks.

Often the reason for these abominations - but still no excuse - is technology is moving so fast that the language struggles to keep up. It means we are saddled with words like netiquette, vlog and sexting.

But marry in haste and repent at leisure, as they say, because history tells us that although their inventors might think they are being smart, portmanteau words are almost always a car crash.

Sometimes they almost get away with it - think smog and motel - but generally such words stick in the throat. Like brunch. How unappetising.

I also recently heard about volumptuous, which combines voluptuous with lumpy to describe someone who is overweight but nevertheless attractive (unlike the word). But there is much, much worse.

Whatever you might think of Brexit as an idea, surely we can all agree that the unholy union of two words into that one is ugly enough to be a sin against the Queen’s English, and must have Shakespeare rolling in his grave. How unpatriotic. Almost as bad is bromantic, another modern word, which describes a close relationship between two (straight) men, who each consider the other to me their best mate, or - as some youngsters now say - their bro. Yuk and double yuk.

This is also the time of year when we are encouraged to take part in certain challenges. Last month there was a draw-a-picture-a-day challenge called Inktober, which is awful, but the prize for the worst of all (albeit in aid of good causes) goes to the jogging challenge, Runvember. No!

And now - as if 2020 wasn’t already bad enough - portmanteau words are everywhere, as people resort to them in an attempt to describe our new lifestyles, and quarandream isn’t the half of it.

Every day I thank God that I do not have to take part in seminars on the internet, partly because so many people now routinely insist on calling them webinars.

And there is another new word that is not only ugly, but carries the added double insult of being both unnecessary and an Americanism.

Apparently, what we used to just call not going abroad for our holidays now has to be called a staycation. If you are one of those people tempted to say you are planning a staycation, take it from me: you need to get away. And even more urgently than you thought.