For the curious...
Since no one obviously has an answer for me.
I am using an "elegant themes" theme. They put their own coding in the <title> tag and also put in their own PHP for description, keywords, all that stuff.
checking the "force rewrite page titles" did not work. It will not over write what elegant themes is calling.
I had to open up header.php and replace:
<title><?php elegant_titles(); ?></title>
<?php elegant_description(); ?>
<?php elegant_keywords(); ?>
<?php elegant_canonical(); ?>
<title><?php wp_title(''); ?></title>
and you can uncheck the "force rewrite page titles" option.
Hope it helps for you sometime. Cheers!