# Why do you need to put #!/bin/bash at the beginning of a script file?

I have made [Bash][1] scripts before and they all ran fine without this at the beginning. What's the point of putting it in? Would things be any different? Also, how do you pronounce #? I know that ! is pronounced as "bang." How is #! pronounced? [1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bash_%28Unix_shell%29

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