Try it on another PC to confirm the diagnosis. Then better start retyping from your last good backup.
So I typed up my homework on either word 2003 or word 2007 and the file was saved in word 98-03 format. As far as I can recall, I did not save it in any special format nor did I encode it in any special way. Every time I open a certain word file through word 2007, a window pops up and says,"Select the encoding that makes your document readable." I select "Windows (Default)" option and click OK but I get weird symbols and numbers. Is my document corrupt? I don't understand how I could have corrupted it through normal use.
As further background information, I am using both office 2003 and office 2007 on Vista Business edition 32-bit. I have not encountered this problem before when I was using both Office versions. I save my word files directly to my flash drive. Copying and pasting the document to my desktop and running it from there did not help.