Marty, I'm no Fairy Godknitter by any means, but, I think they are one and the same thing. I'm sure if I'm wrong, someone here will correct me.
BTW, have you looked at Clara Parkes newest book yet? The Knitter's Book of Socks is very helpful, and answers some questions you were asking a while ago.
I'm no expert, but I'll give it a shot, too. :) 'Stranded' knitting is the broad category- meaning you knit with 2 (or more) yarns at a time- 'stranding' the unused yarn at the back of the work. 'Fair Isle' knitting is a subcategory of stranded knitting. It would be the actual patterns of X's and O's and small peeries - the patterns that originated in Fair Isle -a tiny island that's a part of the Shetland islands (in the north of Scotland).
And after I type that, I decide I'd better not trust my memory, so this is from Wikipedia: Traditional Fair Isle patterns have a limited palette of five or so colours, use only two colours per row, are worked in the round, and limit the length of a run of any particular colour.
Some people use the term "Fair Isle" to refer to any colourwork knitting where stitches are knit alternately in various colors, with the unused colours stranded across the back of the work. Others use the term "stranded colourwork" for the generic technique, and reserve the term "Fair Isle" for the characteristic patterns of the Shetland Islands.
and later in the text: Beginning in the 1990s, the term "Fair Isle" has been applied very generally and loosely to any stranded color knitting which has no relation to the knitting of Fair Isle or any of the other Shetland Islands.
Pickle, your description was great and educational.
So Marty, what are you going to work on? Something from MSH's book?
I did my swatch last night... came out on the money... yea!!!