I came across the murky but fascinating idea on Wikipedia, and it goes a little something like this: just as we got Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit when Classical Sanskrit was affected by Prakrit vocabulary and grammar, and we got Buddhist Hybrid Chinese when Classical Chinese was affected by the former, the language of English Buddhist Literature is new and different because it tries to convey the concepts in Buddhist canonical languages using English language structures.
Presenting: Buddhist Hybrid English.
The best example of this I can think of s a story of Brad Warner’s where some person during a talk asked him what the difference between “being” and “to be” was.
Brad told him that one was a gerund and the other was an infinitive.
Warner’s telling of the story emphasizes how the person who asked the question was being overly intellectual and was trying to show up the teacher by asking “Zen” question in search of a sufficiently “Zen” response. And he’s probably right about the questioner’s intention and grammar. But what’s interesting is that, in the mind of the questioner, there was a very real psychological difference between the two that he was trying to get at through grammar.
Consider how the morpheme “ness,” which indicates the manner or essence of something combines with the morpheme “such” which indicates manner or method to combine together to form “suchness.”
…and mean what, exactly? Could a non-Buddhist come to that conclusion?
All groups have their own jargon, but I worry how aware I a when I’m using it. I remember saying to someone that the eightfold path would lead to complete and perfect enlightenment, only to hear the question. “What would I want that?”