a-larm: (noun) an automatic device that serves to call attention, to rouse from sleep, or to warn of fire, smoke, an intruder, etc.
Car alarms are among the stupidest thing ever. EVER. I honestly don't get it sometimes. I could hear one going off when I got home and it proceeded to squawk for about two minutes before anything was done about it. In two minutes, even a crappy car thief would have your Civic hot-wired and away.
In the fall, while walking down Queen St., a car alarm went off and the stupid driver was frantically flipping through the owner's manual trying to figure out how to turn it off. She finally figured it out...only to have the alarm start up again. My favourite part though was when she went back to the manual, apparently forgetting how to turn off her car alarm in the seven seconds that had elapsed since she had previously turned it off. Sigh.
My other favourite thing about car alarms was when I was in residence at York and, on pub nights, all these cars would be parked outside my residence (and, as it were, my window), while the owners partied it up at the nearby pub. Of course, car alarms would start going off but the owners certainly couldn't hear them, since they were dancing the pub night away. But I could hear them loud and clear (yes, there were pub nights I stayed in). Made me wish the cars would be stolen, just to show them.
I just don't get it.