The Sound That Wakes You Every Morning: By Gun!

Maybe there is something that we wake up to every morning hearing their sound, which many of us do not like at all. When we suppress the feeling of throwing it one side, the “postpone” option comes to light. Yes, I’m talking about the alarm. Well, did you know that the root of the word alarm actually has a connection with the military?

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In French “By Gun!”

The word alarm has come to English language from the French word alarme. This word is formed by combining the words “all arme in Italian. The Italian word arme means weapon”. The literal translation of the word all arme” is “By Gun!” form. In fact, every alarm is a call to pre-war preparation. To make things a little more literal, in fact, every alarm we hear at the beginning of the day is a new warning of a war against life. A signal emphasizing that we must take charge of our work in this war against time: To the gun!

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Sound Used by Cops for Warning: Monster Whistle

The word siren comes from the French word Sirène” meaning monster whistle”. According to Greek mythology, monsters called “siren” live on some islands. These charming mermaid-like creatures also attracted sailors with the sounds they made. The sailors, who could not stand the sound of sirens, crashed into the rocks and died while approaching the island. This sound, which is often used as a warning today, was a nightmare for sailors at the time.

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References and Further Reading

Alarm Word Origin. Etymology. (n.d.). Retrieved July 12, 2022, from

Word Origin for Gendarme. Etymology. (n.d.). Retrieved July 12, 2022, from

The proofreading has been done by Asu Pelin Akköse and Mete Esencan.

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Mete Esencan

Hello everyone! I'm Mete Esencan. I am a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry at METU. I was planning to establish a platform by combining the research knowledge I gained during my basic science education and the management experience I gained in the METU Chemistry Society, which I was in charge of for three years. For this purpose, in February of 2021, I took the first step and established the OkButWhy, a platform where we can write articles as if to chat about science, art and philosophy. I wish everyone a pleasant reading!

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