Rivet: a headed pin or bolt of metal used for uniting two or more pieces by passing the shank through a hole in each piece and then beating or pressing down the plain end so as to make a second head. From Old French river to attach.
Growing up, I was one of those unfortunate children whose name was often mispronounced and made into a running joke whether my French surname was merely anglicized into a construction fastener or mangled into the croaking ‘ribbit’ of a frog. Learning that my distant relatives from whom the name originated had worked in construction trades at least made the first option more palatable, and kids would be kids. Except that despite repeated correction the mispronunciation followed me all the way through elementary, middle and high school into college…and even my professional life!
Then, I married the son of Chinese immigrants. His family name was Ing. And literally overnight I became ‘riveting.’ At first it drove me crazy. Was I doomed to go through life with everyone mispronouncing my name? But once I had time to think about it, I realized that ‘riveting’ was a blessing in disguise. It sounded catchy, it had a double meaning (having the power to fix the attention), and people remembered it better than my actual name! Why not make RivetIng my brand?
Why not, indeed!