LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||10/NOV/2005 5:18 AM|
A "bill of sale" is commonly used to prove the new ownership of land, an automobile, etc. Since it refers to the transfer of ownership, it's usually limited to one object.
An "invoice" can be used for more than one object. As in a "bill of sale", the invoice describes what is being purchased, often in great detail (model, serial number, color, condition, etc.). When you buy a computer, vacuum cleaner, furniture, TV, etc., you are given an invoice. This is probably the word that you want to use in your documentation.
A "receipt" is proof of payment. It may or may not have specifics about what you purchased. You buy a jacket. You take it home. You realize that it's the wrong size. You take it back to the store. The store will ask you for the receipt, not for the bill of sale or invoice. When you buy an ice cream cone or pay for a book, you are given a receipt, not a bill of sale or an invoice. A receipt is simply a "notinha". Does it describe in great detail what you bought? Probably not. Probably it merely says that you bought a jacket, food, a book, etc. without any further description.
Note that the terms ""invoice" and "receipt" overlap, there is not always a clear distinction between them.
A "bill of lading" is a detailed list of what is being transported from one location to another. It does not establish new ownership. It is not a receipt in the usual sense, but it does show what has been entrusted to another person (a driver, a shipping company, etc.)
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