double flip-flop inversion

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Senior Member
PATTY AND SHORTY held hands, and somehow the palm to palm contact was better than talking, when it came to saying what they had to say. They were both feeling weird, somewhere between paralysed and frantic, sometimes breathless, caught up in a strange double flip-flop inversion. It was pitch dark, so they were safe, except for night vision, so they weren’t, except night vision couldn’t be used, so they were. One step they felt secure.
Source: Past Tense by Lee Child

Does double flip-flop inversion mean a full swing of emotions between safe and fear? What is your interpretation? Is it a reference to the electronic digital flip flop?

Thank you.
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I’d be thinking of gymnastics, people who can fling themselves upside down and round about in one seamless move. The net result of that movement would be “disorientation”. That’s how these two feel: disorientated.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, I don't think it's supposed to have a specific meaning except that things were not their usual way. Things seemed backwards and forwards at the same time.
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