had been vs used to be

Alexey86

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1. Lasch argued that the second world war, together with the consumer culture of the 1950s, had sponsored a “culture of narcissism”
that was now threatening traditional red-state American individualism. “Trust yourself” had been a powerful message addressed to middle America,
but it was not the source of contemporary “permissiveness”.
(The Guardian)
2. Like Germany, Hungary had been a powerful pre-war footballing presence. They won Olympic gold in 1912 and were beaten finalists at the 1938 World Cup.
(The Guardian)

Is it possible to use used to be instead of had been? How will the meaning change?

 

Yankee

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1. Lasch argued that the second world war, together with the consumer culture of the 1950s, had sponsored a “culture of narcissism”
that was now threatening traditional red-state American individualism. “Trust yourself” had been a powerful message addressed to middle America,
but it was not the source of contemporary “permissiveness”.
(The Guardian)
2. Like Germany, Hungary had been a powerful pre-war footballing presence. They won Olympic gold in 1912 and were beaten finalists at the 1938 World Cup.
(The Guardian)

Is it possible to use used to be instead of had been?
Yes. How will the meaning change? No change.


Y.
 

5jj

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There is almost always some difference in meaning, however slight, when different words are used.

In your two sentences, the past perfect places the situation denoted in a period of past time extending up to a later past time. Used to would emphasise the fact that a past-time situation no longer holds today.
 
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