Ordinary language is all right.
One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.
I think these are probably the same people who usually say, '…it comes from the Greek word for "duty"'.
Education as cultivation of various shibboleths.
My friends tell me that according to their colleagues, the important thing is to give students exams about the definitions of terms like 'deontological'.
Specialists respond mainly to one another; this can make them, in general, unresponsive.
'That's not my area.'
Compare how a philosopher, a judge, a chemist, a journalist, a lover, a friend, a parent, may react to having…
1. made a bad argument.
2. accepted a bad argument.
3. said something that wasn't true.
4. accepted something that wasn't true.
5. ignored what others were saying.
6. listened to what others were saying.
Yet if you're concerned with something like, 'what it means to do something', and SIGNIFICANCE has entered the scene, you might barely be able to get a word out while transfixed by the thought of someone… somehow… doing… something.
… 'theory of how do do things', 'theory of how doing things works'…
'A theory of what to keep in mind'. Can't you just keep it in mind without the theory?
We use simpler words and do simpler things, for simpler reasons, than moral philosophers are comfortable with. Imagine a theory of when one should, in general, say 'no'.
We shake hands after a fight, or hug. We turn our backs on one another. We look each other in the eye; we say things to our faces. We leave and never come back; we stop each other from leaving. We wait and see. We will not show our faces, hide our eyes, look down, look away. We will have had enough. We won't stand for things. We let others have it.
We doubt ourselves. We put up with things we shouldn't. We stick around for bad reasons. We dwell in unhealthy fantasies. We can be living in the past. We get over ourselves. We can never let go. We hold on for as long as we can.