I'd like to follow up something that was discussed in question 4096 (http://www.askphilosophers.org/question/4096).
In Richard Heck's response to a question about the term "vulgar" he gives an example of an English slang term "gyp" meaning to cheat, which was derived from gypsy. As he mentions, this is considered offensive to gypsies. And, as he also mentions, many non-gypsies are not familiar with this issue and mean no disrespect to gypsies when they use the term. Heck goes on to say "One would not be blameworthy for that usage, but, once informed of its consequences, one should stop using the term."
So my question is where is the line here? What if someone "informs" me that XYZ group is offended by some action I take. What if I'm not sure they're correct? What if actually some XYZs are offended and others are not? Does it matter how many people are in the XYZ group, and whether I believe they will actually witness my action?
A considerate person wouldn't want to needlessly offend anyone, but at some point one gets tired of walking on eggshells because someone somewhere may be offended. What's a good way of determining how I should bend my habits to avoid giving offense to others?