Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: whilst.

whilst. “Whilst,” though correct British English, is virtually obsolete in American English and reeks of pretension in the work of a modern American writer — e.g.: “Whilst [read ‘While’] I was on vacation last week, it seems the Bethlehem Police Force got off the hook for killing a young man, John Hirko, in April.” Paul Carpenter, “Just Makes You Feel Warm All Over,” Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.), 21 Sept. 1997, at B1. But the word predominates in British English — e.g.: “Whilst president of the Royal Statistical Society, he told statisticians that government is about asking questions.” Ray Thomas, “Working Out the Figures,” Guardian, 22 Sept. 1997, at 16. Like its sibling “while,” it may be used for “although” or “whereas.” But again, this isn’t good usage in American English Language-Change Index — “whilst” for “while” in American English: Stage 2. For more information about the Language-Change Index click here. Quotation of the Day: “Beginning writers want to start with large abstractions, in the mistaken belief that the bigger the topic is, the more there is to say about it. It doesn’t work out that way. Usually the first sentence of the essay tells whether the writer knows this or not.” Jack Rawlins, “Five Principles for Getting Good Ideas,” in About Language 10, 13 (William H. Roberts & Gregoire Turgeon eds., 2d ed. 1989).
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