Classical Usage: At the big agricultural festival we hear, in between snippets of the conversation of Rodolphe and Emma, a portion of the councilor’s speech. Here’s one of those bits, “Gone forever, gentlemen, are the days when civil discord drenched our streets with blood; when the landlord, the business man, nay, the worker, sank at night into a peaceful slumber trembling lest they be brutally awakened by the sound of inflammatory tocsins, . . .”
Classically Mad Usage: I’ve had a life-long hatred of tocsins, specifically the ones built into my bedside clock that supposedly do me a service by ringing while I’m still asleep.