Jargon: accelerant versus catalyst
One of the features of our home library is a sizeable collection of texts on English diction, grammar, usage, and so forth. (The collection was banished to the back office, but bursts out regularly.) Most of these are focussed on general use, and shy away from the changes in meaning that might accompany use in a technical field. Completely untouched is the smaller subset of technical words that could be useful more generally.
The “wished for general use” word-pair I came up with today is catalyst and accelerant, both of which are precise descriptive words for agents of change. The problem is that a catalyst remains unchanged across the transformation—meaning that there was only unilateral adjustment—while an accelerant, very much a part of the transformation, seems to be exclusively connoted with arson.
Know any example usages of accelerant that attempt to stifle a sense of ignition?