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The question becomes....
Cousin of 'So...' - a little grating ?
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
2013/08/02
12:32am
RobertB
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2012/02/20
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So, starting a sentence with ‘So …’ just might make sense sometimes.

What about its cousin ‘The question becomes…’ ? It could be a little grating because lots of times there’s no question preceding it:
 
Once the level of privacy is determined upon , the question becomes who needs to know?
Her dog’s favorite is caviar; the question becomes Russian or Iranian?

 

2013/08/02
6:02am
Glenn
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2009/03/03
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In your examples, the original question is strongly implied:
Once the (answer to the question of the correct) level of privacy is determined [upon (?)] , the question becomes who needs to know?
(Now that they resolved the question of her dog’s food preference by discovering that) Her dog’s favorite is caviar; the question becomes Russian or Iranian?

I am sure, however, that you are right that people misuse the phrase. A similar expression that gets misused a great deal — perhaps to the point of meaning something quite different now — is “… beg the question … .” Originally to beg the question meant to avoid answering a question. People now use to beg the the question to mean something similar to ” … the question becomes …”

2013/08/08
3:45am
RobertB
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Here’s another cousin, the ‘now do we/you?‘ that references what came before. The ‘now’ is a  little haughty or condescending, no?

 
Watch the stop signs. We don’t want any more tickets now do we?
Clean up the trash. You don’t want any bears to sniff around now do ya?

 

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