No, I don't mean it literally.
If you want to keep your backswing shorter - and probably 95%+ of golfers should - feel like you keep your right arm straight(er) on the backswing.
Give it a try.
Holy cow, this tip just changed the game for me. I already do this with chips and pitches, but never considered it with a full swing. Mostly, because I thought there's no way I would get any power this way. Well, I was dead wrong. It feels like my backswing is about 70% (or less) of what it was previously to trying this and I am hitting them as far or further.
I played 18 after work yesterday and remembered reading this thread before going out on the back. I shot 8 strokes better on the back and after 4 holes had this weird confidence stepping up to the ball. Almost, like I knew what I was doing. Obviously, the right arm bends, but the feeling of keeping it straight just sets you up to really power through the downswing.
This was also a change my instructor made to my swing along with making sure my elbows were close together with the pockets facing the sky and elbows pointing to their respective hips. It feels like it constricts my backswing a bit, but with remaining centered on the backswing, and using my hips to trigger the down swing it actually resulted in longer distances with all my clubs which he says is the result of compressing the ball versus sweeping it like I had been.