24 April 2012

Copyediting Hustler magazine

From a presentation given at the 16th National Congress of the American Copy Editors Society:
In some ways, Althoff said, working at Hustler was like working at any other magazine, dealing with page layouts and production deadlines. Larry Flynt Publications had what he called a “conservative corporate environment.”..

“Images of a salacious nature have always included words,” he said. Those words may appear in headlines, captions and story text. That’s why, he said, porn needs editing like anything else.

Hustler’s stylebook is similar to others, Althoff said, offering guidance to writers and editors at the magazine on word choice for its readers. Among those at Hustler:
— blow job vs. blowjob
— porno vs. porn
— phone-sex vs. phone sex
— girl next door vs. girl-next-door
— cover babe vs. coverbabe
In each of these examples, Hustler prefers the latter usage. On occasion, the magazine would update its stylebook. For example, it now uses “hos” rather than “ho’s.”..

Regardless of the type of content, Althoff said, it’s important for editors to keep in mind how language evolves. “The English language is very elastic,” Althoff said. “Change it if you need to.”


  1. I read Hustler for the articles.

  2. Sure the language is elastic, but everyone should know the rules and how to spell if they want to earn a reader's respect. You can break the rules more effectively if you know them. "Ho's" is chock full 'o stupid.

    1. I think the thing that people forget when they say that language is elastic is that it also pulls back the other way. There are many tensions pulling language in new directions and useages, but there's also considerable inertia, both from sheer mass and from people who for all sorts of reasons resist new trends.
      This exerts a strong damping effect on change - which to my mind is a good thing. Change is good - but not too much nor too fast.

  3. Coverbabe? Although I agreed with the rest of them and also with their unflagging devotion to freedom of the press (also the articles).

  4. It's nice to know that there are still _some_ jobs for editors.



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