At the center of The Memorandum is an artificial language, Ptydepe. This language is supposed to be more efficient and accurate than common vernacular in office communications. Lear tells his students that Ptydepe is scientific, rational, and precise, yet difficult, complex, and redundant. Words in Ptydepe are so long, they must be broken up into sub words. Common words, however, are the shortest of all. Only a few in the office even understand a little Ptydepe, and most drop out of the language classes because it was too hard to learn. Even Stroll, the head of the translation center, says that while they are in charge of translating documents, they are "no experts." Thus, translations, like the one that Gross so desperately seeks, are hard to come by.