Yes, again, this confirms whatI have been suspecting. thanks for confirming it for me, that some setting within the server would be where I'd look.
Couldn't sleep last night and so I went digging again, and after doing a lot of search variants along the line of 'url format', 'location bar format', 'url address' etc. etc., I did suddenly get a bazillion results popping out for mod_rewrites.
Which, when I looked a little deeper, seemed promising. I've got my own Linux PC here at home, my 2nd machine, with apache installed but not configured. Perhaps this will be a good place for me to dig a little more, in the docs for Apache.
Might also try to re-create the problem - if I can do that, I'll know what caused it.
Perhaps between your suggestion for where to look, my own search results (Copernic Pro, an excellent meta-crawler), and my Linux box, I can find the solution and then request my host run the re-write.
Thanks for the suggestions, guys, I do appreciate your taking the time. And please forgive my earlier "snippy" retort. I'm arrogant enough in my own profession, lord knows, so a little well-earned arrogance in somebody else doesn't bother me very long.