The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.
Unlearning is hard. I applaud people who say something the way they first learned to say it — and then hear themselves and change their language. Update it. Make it more inclusive. Make it more hopeful or less cautious (some of us were taught to use words as camouflage).
Practice: When you or someone else says something that sounds “off,” identify what makes it so. Too imprecise? Too authoritative? Less generous than you prefer?
Advanced practice: Identify the ideas that surround that language. For years I said (without hearing myself) “I don’t really know.” Then one day I heard myself: I don’t really know but in unreally land, my knowledge is boundless.
Related practices: Cliches, Bright Blue Sailboat, Self-attack