I turned in early the other evening to mull over a few of life’s mysteries.

Like when is Last Night of the Proms really going to mean it? If a pig loses its voice is it disgruntled? And is multi-tasking an ability to muck everything up simultaneously?

Sleep arrived well before any sensible answers but at least I’d been spared one more television programme featuring endless repeats for the Famous Five: Actually, Awesome, Brilliant, Fantastic and Gutted.

So many words and expressions to pick from. So little regard  for any idea of a linguistic adventure. Now footballers dress up as politicians and vice versa on a level playing field with banal soundbites the only goal and too much extra time to waste.

Yes, if the English language made any sense a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur. Even so, there’s no excuse for many blatant abuses it has to suffer.

Perhaps we add to this growing chaos  inspired by a voracious media. For a start we watch Parliament elect a speaker when there are about 650 of them in there already mostly talking a load of ole squit.

We call it a rush-hour when nothing moves. We know fast food tends to slow us down. No wonder rubbish is passed off as reality on our television screens.

It creeps in to more homely areas as well. I recall a few years back when Cromer Smugglers picked up an “unsung heroes” community award.

But that’s what they did all the while – sing! We must take better care of our language before it drowns in a vat of cliches, that’s for sure, or disappears in a storm  of texting, twittering and mobile phone twaddle.

Norfolk could lead the way by not holding  a conference on the subject.

There’s no point in a gathering of important people  who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done.

Far better  to get back to individual basics  and spend an hour or two with a good dictionary and a willingness to take liberties  in the name of a words revival.

I take my cue from comedian and writer Barry Cryer, a master of alternate suggestions,. He reckoned Honolulu meant to give an MBE to a Scottish singer – and I’m still happy to take his word for it.

Then I stumbled across “Dickensian” used to describe snow at Christmas or very long novels. I remember a lad at school lighting up a dull English language lesson by announcing his father always refused to pay syntax.

That did it. A rustic stalwart emerged from my early newspaper reporting days to describe growing excitement over his local garden show as “wisteria.” A fashion-conscious colleague in the swinging 1960s informed me “baloney” was where some hemlines fell.

I owned up to harbouring a belief that that “absentee” is a missing golf peg and “aromatic” an autopilot for archers. A medical source informed me “dilate” meant to live longer and an “outpatient” just a person who had fainted.

A friend good with numbers suggested “extradition” totted up to more maths homework while “morbid” could only be a higher offer.

Up popped a dentist to bill “toothache” as the pain that drives you to extraction. An honest planner. A rare breed, admitted “suburbia” is where they tear out the trees and plants and then name streets after them. Welcome to Ash Grove and Primrose Drive.

Fun and word games with a serious purpose. Where would it all end? With a Top 20 compiled with help from a witty man I often meet on my clifftop rambles in loquacious Cromer, try these for size.

Archive – where Noah kept his bees

Flabbergasted – appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained

Esplanade – to attempt an explanation while drunk

Balderdash – rapidly receding hairline

Flatulence – emergency vehicle that picks up someone run over by a steamroller

Idiomatic – foolproof dishwasher

Allocate – how some greet the Duchess of Cambridge

Hoedown – agricultural strike

Forebears – scare for Goldilocks

Demistifier – retired magician

Endorse – loser in Grand National

Dullard – boring duck

Foxglove – Basil Brush

Dreadlocks – fear of canals

Shuttlecock – space chicken

Stylist – pig directory

Buffalo – popular nudist camp greeting

Fondue – an affectionate sheep

Hiding – church bell you can’t reach

Cursory – where small children learn to swear

Now have a go .. if you can do better or worse!