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The question becomes....
Cousin of 'So...' - a little grating ?
2013/08/02
12:32am
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RobertB
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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
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Glenn
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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
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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?
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