Right now, for example, the IE title bar displays "Windows XP: Ask a Questi". The rest of it is "cut off". More to the point, the IE button as it appears in the Tasbar only displays a series of squares, as if to show that they are non-displayable characters. Hence, my conclusion that it's a corruption issue.
I've tried all the suggestions I could find on removing the title bar text -- no change. I've tried a complete repair (reinstallation) of WinXP PRO -- no change. I've tried removing and re-adding IE from Add/Remove Windows Components -- no change. I've tried deleting all cookies and temp IE files -- no change. I tried changing the location of temp IE files -- no change. I tried a few other things, too, but lost track of just how many tactics were tried, all to no avail.
Even with all that I pulled out of my bag of tricks, my guess is that this one is piece of cake for somebody out there.