ulterior » alterior
Spotted in the wild:
- Is there an alterior motive behind a woman’s actions? (Blogcity post title, 10 September 2006)
- While the 31-year-old’s performance went well, Calwell confessed to having an alterior motive. “The event is really a stepping stone for me. Obviously, the triathlon season is my main goal. I am using this to prepare for the Contact Energy Cup starting in November.” (Rotura Daily Post (NZ), Sep 10, 2007)
- Anyway, IBM has alterior motives here. (Guardian Games Blog, Keith Stuart, June 18, 2007)
- Nobody seems able to give any possible alterior use this or a future government could put the database to that has even a theoretical basis in reality. (Guardian Unlimited, Reader comment, Sep 8, 2007)
With the borrowing of words and phrases from other languages, English speakers have developed intuitions about the meaning of foreign roots. “Alternative”, “alter ego” etc. are sufficiently frequent to link _alter-_ to the sense “other”, and make _alter-_ more transparent than _ulter-/ultra_. (Note that the original sense “the other of two” has been largely obscured: the use of _alternative_ is a common entry in usage advice guides not only in English, but also in French and German, and probably in other languages.)
In the forum thread, poster booboo also noted a further development to _alternative motive_.