Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Thesis

The reason people like Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” is not because of the catchy beat. It’s because he speaks in a clear declarative sentence that states his point of view. “I like big butts and I can not lie. You other brothers can’t deny…” Consider weaker versions of his thesis. Here is one in the passive voice: “Big butts are liked by me. You other brothers must agree…” Or here’s one that apologizes for the author’s beliefs: “In my opinion big butts are attractive. You other brothers be proactive…” See? Not as good.

So take a writing lesson from Sir Mix-a-Lot. Next time you find yourself being verbose and indirect, just say to yourself, “Shake that healthy butt!” and you’ll remember to be clear and strong.


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