From a medical article:

Insulin regimen was categorized as 1) basal-bolus using the insulin pump, 2) basal-bolus with glargine plus rapid-acting insulin, 3) multiple daily injections (MDI) with ≥3 injections/day, using glargine plus more than/or other than rapid-acting insulin type, 4) MDI with ≥3 injections/day, using any insulin types excluding basal insulin, or 5) 1 to 2 injections/day, excluding glargine [6].

A translator on a translators' forum asked about this phrase, and I could not make heads or tails of it.

It is at all comprehensible to a native speaker?

I know that diabetics often use one or two shots of long-acting (basal) insulin a day. Glargine requires a single shot a day. On top of that, you inject some short-acting insulin as needed, after meals.

Still I cannot understand this particular tangle of than\or\other than.

  • 1
    Good grief, that's a doozy. Is there such a thing as "more than rapid-acting insulin type"? I'm thinking about the various speeds-of-acting into which barbiturates are classified, and I recall something like "ultra-fast-acting" for them (it's been almost 10 years, not my field, memory hazy). I'm wondering if something like that might be what is being alluded to. In which case, that gets us "gargline plus more-than-rapid-acting insulin type or gargline plus other than rapid-acting insulin type". May 22, 2016 at 6:53
  • 1
    Or "(insulin) of (a) type other than rapid-acting"? May 22, 2016 at 6:59
  • "Glargine plus" is the (shorthand/casual) name of a drug that has glargine and a particular additive.
    – TimR
    May 22, 2016 at 11:09
  • @TRomano - are you sure? May 22, 2016 at 11:12
  • As sure as one can be after 30 seconds of reading through Google hits and decades of listening to drug ads on TV. :) But I would pursue that angle.
    – TimR
    May 22, 2016 at 11:13

1 Answer 1


I can neither immediately understand it nor, after some thought, infer the author's intention. Sometimes in the interest of brevity we might elide some words in the assurance that the reader will infer a more complete text. Possibly, in this very technical document, someone familiar with the subject area might readily understand what is being said. As a layman I can't make sense of it.

My major source of puzzlement is the use of "/". I would expect to see a contraction of complementary sentences.

I use a raincoat or an umbrella.

or I use a raincoat and an umbrella.

could be contracted to

I use a raincoat and/or an umbrella.

We can derive the two separate sentences by taking the alternatives "and" and "or". In the example we see

more than/or other than

No matter how I attempt to reduce the alternatives I don't get a sentence that makes sense to me:

 . . . using glargine plus more than rapid-acting insulin type . . . 

 . . . using glargine plus other than rapid-acting insulin type . . . 

I don't think these make sense—though possibly in the very technical domain under consideration they do.

I think to solve the problem we need to be able to construct the single sentences before combining them using "/". As things stand I could not do that.

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