Why is the Parthenon of Athens not listed as one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world?

1. If the first list of the Seven Wonders was compiled by Herodotus (Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), then the Parthenon was under construction at the time he compiled it; and even if it had been built, it would have been too new to include. But that argument doesn’t work, because the Mausoleum was done after Herodotus.

2. The criteria for the Seven Wonders appear to have been Big Is Beautful, rather than rewarding perfect structures per se. And perfect temples were probably a dime a dozen back in the day. Per the wikipedia link above, the  original term was θεάματα, “spectacles, sights”, and the emphasis was on the spectacular. Antipater of Sidon’s list, which is quoted there, is also all about the spectacular:

I have gazed on the walls of impregnable Babylon along which chariots may race, and on the Zeus by the banks of the Alpheus, I have seen the hanging gardens, and the Colossus of the Helios, the great man-made mountains of the lofty pyramids, and the gigantic tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the sacred house of Artemis that towers to the clouds, the others were placed in the shade, for the sun himself has never looked upon its equal outside Olympus.

The Parthenon may be perfect, but it is not impregnable, gigantic, a man-made mountain, or towering to the clouds.

3. It has been argued by Anthony Kaldellis (Department of Classics)  that the Parthenon was not considered that big a deal in antiquity, and that its reputation as an amazing structure only emerged in Byzantine times, when it was a church. (Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2009.12.18 , https://www.lsa.umich.edu/UMICH/… )

English (language): Why do we use the past tense to show our politeness?

To give a pragmatics answer to why you would use either a conditional model or a present model in questions, to begin with:

In many cultures, and English is one, indirect requests are considered more polite than direct requests. An indirect request implies a direct request, but it gives the listener the (fictional) option of backing out by misunderstanding it, and it also gives the listener the (conventional) option of offering to fulfil the request, rather than being seen as complying with a demand.

“Pass the salt”. (Oh, that’s a direct request. Can’t get out of that. I have been put on the spot. Damn blunt furrner. Should get Trump to slap an armband on him.)

“Can you pass the salt?” (I can. Why would he ask? Might  he need salt? Why, in that case, let me spontaneously and completely off my own initiative offer the salt! I feel so  empowered!)

“Could you pass the salt?” (I could, hypothetically, if the need arose. Why would he ask? etc etc…. Oh, and he might not have needed the salt after all, since he was being so hypothetical about it; so kudos to me for being so proactive and able to anticipate his needs!)

Cultures do funny things with requests, since they can be seen as confronting and invoking a power differential. Greek, by contrast, usually limits the indirectness to a question (“Will you pass the salt?”), but it uses other means of toning down the threat to the listener’s face. Like sticking a diminutive on the object requested. Μου δίνετε το ονοματάκι σας; “Will you give me your eensy-teensy name?” There’s nothing eensy-teensy about most Greek names; but that creates the fiction that the request for the name is hardly any imposition at all: I’m only asking for this one tiny thing…

Does the Greek language have a variety of regional dialects?

The outlier dialects, Tsakonian, Pontic, Cappadocian, Mariupolitan: not mutually intelligible, with Tsakonian clearly the furthest away. In terms of the Swadesh list (100 words), Tsakonian has 70% in common with Standard Greek.

Cretan and Cypriot both have 89% words in the Swadesh-100. With dialect attrition, there are versions of Cypriot and Cretan that Athenians can understand, and versions that they can’t.

The other dialects of Greek are mutually intelligible, although there are some isolated instances of berserk phonological change; Samothracian was the one that has surprised me the most, since Northern Greek is not normally that far from the standard.