“To semanticate or not, that is the question” — Iam Unshakespeare

Piyush Santwani
Dec 4, 2017 · 2 min read
For illustration purpose only

Sunday, 11:30 AM - Its early morning and I’ve just risen from the dead. I see dad sitting on his armchair shuffling some books. He has his second cup of tea and the newspaper by his side.

Dad: “Morning, duffer. Any idea what emancipate means?”
(Probably, he is looking for the classic Oxford dictionary that he got us in my 5th grade)
Me: “Umm. Could you tell me the sentence where this word is used?”
(Just so that I know the scope for the wild guess that I was going to take)

That was enough for him to realize that I didn’t know the meaning either. He picked up his phone and googled it.

Dad: “It means to free someone from slavery.
Me: “Ha! Something that I would never experience in my life.” (He smirked)

This triggered the idea of Unshakespeare.

Past side-projects like Music-N-Lyrics, Browse by voice, Youtube-bookmarker etc. were born out of such trivial conversations too.

I spent that night prototyping the concept and published a chrome-extension for desktop reading. The idea also served as a good use-case for my experiments with React-native. So I also built the android version of Unshakespeare for the mobile readers.

Every worthy literature that we read online expects us have to have a decent vocabulary. Honestly, its important to keep polishing one’s language skills too. The traditional way of doing that has been learning the dictionary meaning of the content, one intimidating word at a time.

UNSHAKESPEARE makes the process more intuitive and seamless. With inline meanings of words and idioms, it makes reading simpler and more satisfying. As a secondary feature, it cleans up all the noise surrounding the content, making it distraction-free.

The app currently supports English only. If you have any suggestions to further improve the reading experience, feel free to contact me.

Links: Chrome, Android.
To install or not, that is the question.

Piyush Santwani

Written by

Copying code from Stack Overflow for a living. Node. React. AR/VR.

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