I have an event database that links two people - the person causing the event and the person the event targets. The latter column I call "target", but I can't think of a word to describe the person causing the event. So it could be a word meaning the opposite of target (which I cannot think of), or it could be something related like "instigator". However, I don't like "instigator" because it comes from a verb that is made a noun with the -or suffix. It's not that "instigator" and "target" are different parts of speech, but the word "style" is different. Is there a word for the opposite of (and in the same "style" as) target?
closed as off-topic by Robusto, Hellion, Misti, Mari-Lou A, TimLymington Aug 4 '15 at 14:20
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I'd go with "event source" and "event destination" / "event target", or "event cause" and "event effect". Then there's "event trigger"; if we're talking about a database, it may even literally be a trigger.
But at the end of the day it's a matter of personal taste.
Your system describes events which are caused by people and also which affect people. Such events have an effect on the person they target. This effect is effected by the person who caused the event. A person who affects someone by effecting an effect is an effector.
Sorry, I missed your "no -or" requirement until after I finished writing my answer. I'm still submitting it because it was fun to write.
I think that instigator works the best, despite you disliking its style.
[ ˈinstiˌgātər ]
"Dan was considered an instigator mainly due to the fact that he was a total douche."
NOUN a person who brings about or initiates something:
synonyms: initiator · prime mover · motivator · architect · designer
Alternately catalyst, but I think that is less fitting because it usually connotes the beginning of a process, especitally chemically.
[ ˈkatl-ist ]
1A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.
1.1A person or thing that precipitates an event: the governor’s speech acted as a catalyst for debate
How about invoker:
(computing) That which causes a program or subroutine to execute.