Let's say I want to describe event model in some software. Conceptually there are two sides: the one which raises an event and another which receives it.

While I do know the difference between to raise and to rise, I'm not sure whether I should say "rising side" or "raising side".

  • If you want to use the word "raise", then the thing that does the raising is the "raiser" (if it raised itself, and only itself, it would be the riser; i.e. "rise" is intransitive, but "raise" is transitive, and +r suffix works the same either way). But if you're not married to "raise", you might consider the more common terms in event-based programming: "event source" and "event sink", or "publisher-subscriber" in more structured contexts (i.e. where events are directed, and sources and sinks know about each other).
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 27, 2014 at 7:22
  • 2
    Triggerer/Triggering side comes to mind
    – mplungjan
    Aug 27, 2014 at 7:36
  • If you know the difference between to raise and to rise, then you also know the difference between rising side and raising side. If you do not know the latter, then you also do not know the former.
    – RegDwigнt
    Aug 27, 2014 at 8:22
  • @RegDwigнt probably poor phrasing, but I didn't want this to be a direct question, i.e. some answers can recommend a stylistically better alternative. Aug 27, 2014 at 8:50
  • 2
    You raise an exception, you trigger an event.
    – Marv Mills
    Aug 27, 2014 at 9:23

1 Answer 1


As @mplungjan and @MarvMills point out, trigger is the accepted term.

trigger verb
something that causes something else to happen


jQuery, the leading javascript framework, uses this nomenclature probably for its brevity. Native javascript (i.e. EMCAScript standard) calls it dispatchEvent (MDN documentation).

If you need to describe code that originates an event, you can just call it the event trigger, as trigger has a noun definition that is well understood and fits within the analogy. Triggerer is clumsy, but should be understood by native english speakers. You can also go with dispatcher, origin (or originator, origin point, originating code etc.) and variations on these.

If none of those tickle your fancy, you can always try a thesaurus.

Programming Exceptions are really just specialized events. Most programming languages use throw-catch for describing these events; while it's a valid metaphorical description of normal events, I would not use throw-catch language for anything that wasn't an exception or error handling. Raising is also commonly used for exceptions, so I would shy away from that term as well.

An even older type of event programming is Interrupt driven, which have variously been described as triggered, messaged or signaled. Edge-triggering is a specific term to hardware interrupts; the term you suggest rising-side puts me in mind of the physical signal (voltage), so I would not use that term either.

  • 2
    Signal is also a fairly common term to use, depending on the context.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 10, 2016 at 21:57

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